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Publisher: John Wiley and Sons   (Total: 1577 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 1577 Journals sorted alphabetically
Abacus     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.48, h-index: 22)
About Campus     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Academic Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 61, SJR: 1.385, h-index: 91)
Accounting & Finance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 0.547, h-index: 30)
ACEP NOW     Free   (Followers: 1)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49, SJR: 1.02, h-index: 88)
Acta Archaeologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 144, SJR: 0.101, h-index: 9)
Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition)     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.552, h-index: 41)
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.203, h-index: 74)
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.197, h-index: 81)
Acta Ophthalmologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.112, h-index: 1)
Acta Paediatrica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56, SJR: 0.794, h-index: 88)
Acta Physiologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.69, h-index: 88)
Acta Polymerica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 2.518, h-index: 113)
Acta Zoologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.459, h-index: 29)
Acute Medicine & Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Addiction     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33, SJR: 2.086, h-index: 143)
Addiction Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 2.091, h-index: 57)
Adultspan J.     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.127, h-index: 4)
Advanced Energy Materials     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 6.411, h-index: 86)
Advanced Engineering Materials     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 0.81, h-index: 81)
Advanced Functional Materials     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 5.21, h-index: 203)
Advanced Healthcare Materials     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.232, h-index: 7)
Advanced Materials     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 251, SJR: 9.021, h-index: 345)
Advanced Materials Interfaces     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.177, h-index: 10)
Advanced Optical Materials     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.488, h-index: 21)
Advanced Science     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 2.729, h-index: 121)
Advances in Polymer Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.344, h-index: 31)
Africa Confidential     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Africa Research Bulletin: Economic, Financial and Technical Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
African Development Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 0.275, h-index: 17)
African J. of Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 0.477, h-index: 39)
Aggressive Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.391, h-index: 66)
Aging Cell     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 4.374, h-index: 95)
Agribusiness : an Intl. J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.627, h-index: 14)
Agricultural and Forest Entomology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.925, h-index: 43)
Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 1.099, h-index: 51)
AIChE J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.122, h-index: 120)
Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.416, h-index: 125)
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 2.833, h-index: 138)
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Symposium Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Allergy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49, SJR: 3.048, h-index: 129)
Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
American Anthropologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 133, SJR: 0.951, h-index: 61)
American Business Law J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.205, h-index: 17)
American Ethnologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 91, SJR: 2.325, h-index: 51)
American J. of Economics and Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.211, h-index: 26)
American J. of Hematology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.761, h-index: 77)
American J. of Human Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.018, h-index: 58)
American J. of Industrial Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.993, h-index: 85)
American J. of Medical Genetics Part A     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.115, h-index: 61)
American J. of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.771, h-index: 107)
American J. of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics     Partially Free   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.315, h-index: 79)
American J. of Physical Anthropology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36, SJR: 1.41, h-index: 88)
American J. of Political Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 254, SJR: 5.101, h-index: 114)
American J. of Primatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.197, h-index: 63)
American J. of Reproductive Immunology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.347, h-index: 75)
American J. of Transplantation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 2.792, h-index: 140)
American J. on Addictions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.843, h-index: 57)
Anaesthesia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 126, SJR: 1.404, h-index: 88)
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.397, h-index: 18)
Analytic Philosophy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia: J. of Veterinary Medicine Series C     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.295, h-index: 27)
Anatomical Sciences Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.633, h-index: 24)
Andrologia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.528, h-index: 45)
Andrology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.979, h-index: 14)
Angewandte Chemie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 159)
Angewandte Chemie Intl. Edition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 211, SJR: 6.229, h-index: 397)
Animal Conservation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36, SJR: 1.576, h-index: 62)
Animal Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.957, h-index: 67)
Animal Science J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.569, h-index: 24)
Annalen der Physik     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.46, h-index: 40)
Annals of Anthropological Practice     Partially Free   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.187, h-index: 5)
Annals of Applied Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.816, h-index: 56)
Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.191, h-index: 67)
Annals of Neurology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 5.584, h-index: 241)
Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.531, h-index: 38)
Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.336, h-index: 23)
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.389, h-index: 189)
Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Annual Review of Information Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Anthropology & Education Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.72, h-index: 31)
Anthropology & Humanism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.137, h-index: 3)
Anthropology News     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Anthropology of Consciousness     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.172, h-index: 5)
Anthropology of Work Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.256, h-index: 5)
Anthropology Today     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 92, SJR: 0.545, h-index: 15)
Antipode     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 2.212, h-index: 69)
Anz J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.432, h-index: 59)
Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Apmis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.855, h-index: 73)
Applied Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 69, SJR: 0.754, h-index: 69)
Applied Organometallic Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.632, h-index: 58)
Applied Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 140, SJR: 1.023, h-index: 64)
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 0.868, h-index: 13)
Applied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.613, h-index: 24)
Aquaculture Nutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.025, h-index: 55)
Aquaculture Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 0.807, h-index: 60)
Aquatic Conservation Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 1.047, h-index: 57)
Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.453, h-index: 11)
Archaeological Prospection     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.922, h-index: 21)
Archaeology in Oceania     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.745, h-index: 18)
Archaeometry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.809, h-index: 48)
Archeological Papers of The American Anthropological Association     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.156, h-index: 2)
Architectural Design     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.261, h-index: 9)
Archiv der Pharmazie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.628, h-index: 43)
Archives of Drug Information     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.768, h-index: 54)
Area     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.938, h-index: 57)
Art History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 224, SJR: 0.153, h-index: 13)
Arthritis & Rheumatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 1.984, h-index: 20)
Arthritis Care & Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 2.256, h-index: 114)
Artificial Organs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.872, h-index: 60)
ASHE Higher Education Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Asia Pacific J. of Human Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 315, SJR: 0.494, h-index: 19)
Asia Pacific Viewpoint     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.616, h-index: 26)
Asia-Pacific J. of Chemical Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.345, h-index: 20)
Asia-pacific J. of Clinical Oncology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.554, h-index: 14)
Asia-Pacific J. of Financial Studies     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.241, h-index: 7)
Asia-Pacific Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.377, h-index: 7)
Asian Economic J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.234, h-index: 21)
Asian Economic Policy Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.196, h-index: 12)
Asian J. of Control     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.862, h-index: 34)
Asian J. of Endoscopic Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.394, h-index: 7)
Asian J. of Organic Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.443, h-index: 19)
Asian J. of Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.665, h-index: 37)
Asian Politics and Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.207, h-index: 7)
Asian Social Work and Policy Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.318, h-index: 5)
Asian-pacific Economic Literature     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.168, h-index: 15)
Assessment Update     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Astronomische Nachrichten     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.701, h-index: 40)
Atmospheric Science Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.332, h-index: 27)
Austral Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 1.095, h-index: 66)
Austral Entomology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.524, h-index: 28)
Australasian J. of Dermatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.714, h-index: 40)
Australasian J. On Ageing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.39, h-index: 22)
Australian & New Zealand J. of Statistics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.275, h-index: 28)
Australian Accounting Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.709, h-index: 14)
Australian and New Zealand J. of Family Therapy (ANZJFT)     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.382, h-index: 12)
Australian and New Zealand J. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43, SJR: 0.814, h-index: 49)
Australian and New Zealand J. of Public Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.82, h-index: 62)
Australian Dental J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.482, h-index: 46)
Australian Economic History Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.171, h-index: 12)
Australian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.23, h-index: 9)
Australian Economic Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.357, h-index: 21)
Australian Endodontic J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.513, h-index: 24)
Australian J. of Agricultural and Resource Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.765, h-index: 36)
Australian J. of Grape and Wine Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.879, h-index: 56)
Australian J. of Politics & History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.203, h-index: 14)
Australian J. of Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 0.384, h-index: 30)
Australian J. of Public Administration     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 398, SJR: 0.418, h-index: 29)
Australian J. of Rural Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.43, h-index: 34)
Australian Occupational Therapy J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 68, SJR: 0.59, h-index: 29)
Australian Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.331, h-index: 31)
Australian Veterinary J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19, SJR: 0.459, h-index: 45)
Autism Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 2.126, h-index: 39)
Autonomic & Autacoid Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.371, h-index: 29)
Banks in Insurance Report     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.539, h-index: 70)
Basic and Applied Pathology     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.113, h-index: 4)
Basin Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.54, h-index: 60)
Bauphysik     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.194, h-index: 5)
Bauregelliste A, Bauregelliste B Und Liste C     Hybrid Journal  
Bautechnik     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.321, h-index: 11)
Behavioral Interventions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.297, h-index: 23)
Behavioral Sciences & the Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.736, h-index: 57)
Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.11, h-index: 5)
Beton- und Stahlbetonbau     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.493, h-index: 14)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.311, h-index: 26)
Bioelectromagnetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.568, h-index: 64)
Bioengineering & Translational Medicine     Open Access  
BioEssays     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 3.104, h-index: 155)
Bioethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.686, h-index: 39)
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.725, h-index: 56)
Biological J. of the Linnean Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.172, h-index: 90)
Biological Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 6.469, h-index: 114)
Biologie in Unserer Zeit (Biuz)     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42, SJR: 0.12, h-index: 1)
Biology of the Cell     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.812, h-index: 69)
Biomedical Chromatography     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.572, h-index: 49)
Biometrical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.784, h-index: 44)
Biometrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 1.906, h-index: 96)
Biopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.715, h-index: 44)
Biopolymers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.199, h-index: 104)
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 0.415, h-index: 55)
Biotechnology and Bioengineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 136, SJR: 1.633, h-index: 146)
Biotechnology J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 1.185, h-index: 51)
Biotechnology Progress     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 0.736, h-index: 101)
Biotropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.374, h-index: 71)
Bipolar Disorders     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 2.592, h-index: 100)
Birth     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 0.763, h-index: 64)
Birth Defects Research Part A : Clinical and Molecular Teratology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.727, h-index: 77)
Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.468, h-index: 47)
Birth Defects Research Part C : Embryo Today : Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 1.513, h-index: 55)
BJOG : An Intl. J. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology     Partially Free   (Followers: 222, SJR: 2.083, h-index: 125)

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Journal Cover Aquatic Conservation Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
  [SJR: 1.047]   [H-I: 57]   [34 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1052-7613 - ISSN (Online) 1099-0755
   Published by John Wiley and Sons Homepage  [1577 journals]
  • Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) around an operational tidal turbine in
           Strangford Narrows: No barrier effect but small changes in transit
    • Authors: Carol Sparling; Mike Lonergan, Bernie McConnell
      Abstract: Data were obtained from 32 electronic tags that were glued to the fur of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in and around Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, during the environmental monitoring of the SeaGen tidal turbine.This study provides the first detailed information on the behaviour of marine mammals close to a commercial-scale tidal energy device. The turbine did not prevent transit of the animals through the channel and therefore did not result in a ‘barrier’ effect.However, the animals' behaviour did change when the turbine was operating, demonstrating the importance of allowing for behavioural responses when estimating collision risks associated with tidal turbines.Tagged animals passed the location of the device more frequently during slack water than when the current was running. In 2010 the frequency of transits by tagged seals reduced by 20% (95% CI: 10–50%) when the turbine was on, relative to when it was off. This effect was stronger when considering daylight hours only with a reduction of transit rate of 57% (95% CI: 25–64%). Seals tagged during the operational period transited approximately 250 m either side of the turbine suggesting some degree of local avoidance compared with the pre-installation results.The results presented here have implications for monitoring and managing the potential interactions between tidal turbines and marine wildlife. Principally that the design of telemetry studies for measuring change in response to developments should seek to understand and take into account variability in seal behaviour.This study only looked at the effects of a single turbine rather than an array, and mitigation limited the ability to determine close range interactions. However, the study indicates that the effect of the turbine on Strangford Lough harbour seals was minor and that collision risk was reduced by the behaviour of the seals.
      PubDate: 2017-08-18T05:50:57.329915-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2790
  • Comprehensive estimates of seabird–fishery interactions for the US
           Northeast and mid-Atlantic
    • Authors: Joshua M. Hatch
      Abstract: Relatively little is known about seabird–fishery interactions (i.e. bycatch) for the U.S. North-east and mid-Atlantic, despite concerted efforts to document observed interactions since 1989.Fisheries observer data were used to estimate seabird–fishery interactions for 10 species and six gear types that operated within the US Northeast and mid-Atlantic from 1996 to 2014.Hierarchical Bayes estimation was used and accounted for temporal, spatial, and operational considerations inherent in the data through post-stratification.Over the 19-year study period, 48 821 (coefficient of variation [CV] = 0.03) seabirds were estimated to have interacted with commercial fishing gear, resulting in an average of 2570 interactions per year.Trends in estimated interactions were explored using the marginal posterior distributions, with the majority of interactions pertaining to gillnets and shearwaters/fulmars.Comparison with previous work highlighted the need for consistency in data preparation, making it easier to compare relative trends in seabird bycatch estimates for the region.Future assessments should focus on providing context for the interaction estimates, so that population-level impacts can be inferred and the necessary conservation measures enacted.
      PubDate: 2017-08-10T05:30:41.377503-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2812
  • Geographic variation in host fish use and larval metamorphosis for the
           endangered dwarf wedgemussel
    • Authors: Barbara St. John White; C. Paola Ferreri, William A. Lellis, Barry J. Wicklow, Jeffrey C. Cole
      Abstract: Host fishes play a crucial role in survival and dispersal of freshwater mussels (Unionoida), particularly rare unionids at conservation risk. Intraspecific variation in host use is not well understood for many mussels, including the endangered dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon) in the USA.Host suitability of 33 fish species for dwarf wedgemussel glochidia (larvae) from the Delaware and Connecticut river basins was tested in laboratory experiments over 9 years. Relative suitability of three different populations of a single host fish, the tessellated darter (Etheostoma olmstedi), from locations in the Connecticut, Delaware, and Susquehanna river basins, was also tested.Connecticut River basin A. heterodon metamorphosed into juvenile mussels on tessellated darter, slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus), and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) parr. Delaware River basin mussels metamorphosed using these three species, as well as brown trout (Salmo trutta), banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus), mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdii), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), and shield darter (Percina peltata). Atlantic salmon, striped bass, and sculpins were highly effective hosts, frequently generating 5+ juveniles per fish (JPF) and metamorphosis success (MS; proportion of attaching larvae that successfully metamorphose) ≥ 0.4, and producing juveniles in repeated trials.In experiments on tessellated darters, mean JPF and MS values decreased as isolation between the mussel source (Connecticut River) and each fish source increased; mean JPF = 10.45, 6.85, 4.14, and mean MS = 0.50, 0.41, and 0.34 in Connecticut, Delaware, and Susquehanna river darters, respectively. Host suitability of individual darters was highly variable (JPF = 2–11; MS = 0.20–1.0).The results show that mussel–host fish compatibility in A. heterodon differs among Atlantic coastal rivers, and suggest that hosts including anadromous Atlantic salmon and striped bass may help sustain A. heterodon in parts of its range. Continued examination of host use variation, migratory host roles, and mussel–fish interactions in the wild is critical in conservation of A. heterodon and other vulnerable mussel species.
      PubDate: 2017-08-10T05:30:28.739952-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2782
  • Baltic Sea genetic biodiversity: Current knowledge relating to
           conservation management
    • Authors: Lovisa Wennerström; Eeva Jansson, Linda Laikre
      Abstract: The Baltic Sea has a rare type of brackish water environment which harbours unique genetic lineages of many species. The area is highly influenced by anthropogenic activities and is affected by eutrophication, climate change, habitat modifications, fishing and stocking. Effective genetic management of species in the Baltic Sea is highly warranted in order to maximize their potential for survival, but shortcomings in this respect have been documented. Lack of knowledge is one reason managers give for why they do not regard genetic diversity in management.Here, the current knowledge of population genetic patterns of species in the Baltic Sea is reviewed and summarized with special focus on how the information can be used in management. The extent to which marine protected areas (MPAs) protect genetic diversity is also investigated in a case study of four key species.Sixty-one species have been studied genetically in the Baltic Sea, but comprehensive genetic information exists for only seven of them. Genetic monitoring shows genetic stability in some species but fluctuations and genetic changes in others. About half of the scientific studies published during the last 6 years provide conservation advice, indicating a high interest in the scientific community for relating results to practical management.Populations in MPAs do not differ genetically from populations outside MPAs, indicating that MPAs in the Baltic Sea do not protect genetic diversity specifically, but that populations in MPAs are a representative subset of populations in the Baltic Sea.Recommendations are provided for cases where genetic information is available but not used in management, particularly for non-commercial species with important ecosystem function.Improved channels for effective communication between academia and practical management on Baltic Sea genetic biodiversity are needed. A web page that can be used for knowledge transfer is highlighted here.
      PubDate: 2017-08-02T03:35:53.107747-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2771
  • Towards the identification of ecological management units: A
           multidisciplinary approach for the effective management of bottlenose
           dolphins in the southern Iberian Peninsula
    • Authors: Joan Giménez; Marie Louis, Enrique Barón, Francisco Ramírez, Philippe Verborgh, Pauline Gauffier, Ruth Esteban, Ethel Eljarrat, Damià Barceló, Manuela G. Forero, Renaud Stephanis
      Abstract: Determining discrete and demographically independent management units within wildlife populations is critical for their effective management and conservation. However, there is a lack of consensus on the most appropriate criteria to delimit such management units.A multi-disciplinary, multi-scale approach that combines tools informing in the short-term (i.e. photo-identification), with mid-term ecological tracers (stable isotopes –δ13C, δ15N and δ34S– and persistent organic pollutants –POPs–), and mid- to long-term genetic markers (microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA), was used to define management units within bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the southern Iberian Peninsula.Although genetically indistinguishable, individuals inhabiting the Strait of Gibraltar and the Gulf of Cadiz showed differences in their isotopic composition and the concentrations of certain POPs. Accordingly, the lack of photographic recaptures between the two sites pointed to the existence of at least two different ecological management units that segregate spatially and may require different conservation strategies.Different time-scale approaches can reveal different management units. The results highlighted the use of medium- and short-term approaches for properly identifying ecologically different units for effective management and conservation.Furthermore, these results have important management implications as European legislation promotes specific management plans for this species.
      PubDate: 2017-08-02T03:26:01.138848-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2814
  • Differential response to disturbance factors for the population of
           sympatric crocodilians (Gavialis gangeticus and Crocodylus palustris) in
           Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, India
    • Authors: Shikha Choudhary; B.C. Choudhury, G.V. Gopi
      Abstract: Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary along the Indo-Nepal border in India harbours a well-known breeding gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) population in its global distribution range together with a substantial population of breeding muggers (Crocodylus palustris). However, no systematic information on size and structure is available for either of the species' populations in the protected area.This study was undertaken in winter and the ensuing summer of 2010–2011 to estimate the relative population density and structure of the two crocodilian species and to examine the effect of various disturbance factors, with the main focus on the effects of tourism and illegal fishing on the behavioural attributes of the two species.Five daytime surveys were conducted from December 2010 to April 2011. Relative density based on encounter rate (number per 20 km) was highest for gharial juveniles followed by gharial adults and gharial sub-adults in all the five surveys. Muggers, on the other hand, showed the opposite trend, with the lowest encounter rate being for juveniles, followed by sub-adults and adults. The encounter rate of both species declined with increase in the mean ambient temperature from December to April.The river habitat was divided into 2 km segments and disturbance factors were recorded at intervals of 100 m on both river banks. Wariness was taken as an indicator of response to disturbance caused by human beings and was measured from mechanized boats used for tourism and non-mechanized boats used for illegal fishing.Segments with sandbars, in spite of moderate to high disturbance rate, were preferred for basking by both species. In conclusion, with suitable habitat for basking, gharials and muggers were observed to tolerate moderate levels of disturbance. Wariness resulting from disturbances from the non-mechanized boats was higher than that from the mechanized boats. Gharials tend to avoid humans, possibly with age/size acquired experience and knowledge, whereas muggers become more tolerant to human presence with increased age/size.Despite many disturbance factors, the crocodilian population in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is doing relatively well compared with populations in other habitats in India. With the involvement of local stakeholders and strict implementation of forest laws, the habitat can be further improved and a healthy gharial population can be ensured.
      PubDate: 2017-08-02T03:15:47.326488-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2815
  • Effects of translocation on survival and growth of freshwater mussels
           within a West Gulf Coastal Plain river system
    • Authors: Eric T. Tsakiris; Charles R. Randklev, Andrew Blair, Mark Fisher, Kevin W. Conway
      Abstract: Human-mediated threats have led to the rapid decline of species inhabiting freshwater ecosystems, and among the groups most affected are freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae. As a result, species translocation is increasingly used in conservation programmes, yet experimental evidence documenting the success of this strategy is limited.The goal of this study was to examine the effects of translocation on survival probability, shell growth and body condition of a state-threatened (Quadrula houstonensis) and common (Amblema plicata) species of freshwater mussel in the San Saba River, located in a West Gulf Coastal Plain river system, USA.Survival probability estimated from a joint live and dead encounter model was high (> 0.85) and varied by treatment for both species. However, differences in survival probability between resident and transplant treatments were relatively small for A. plicata (0.01) and Q. houstonensis (0.12). Generalized additive mixed models of yearly proportional growth and linear mixed models of Fulton's K index for A. plicata varied by treatment and were lower in transplant treatments. Shell growth of Q. houstonensis was unaffected by translocation; whereas, Fulton's K was higher in the transplant treatment.Methods used to translocate mussels were important factors leading to high survival and limited impacts to shell growth and body condition in this study. Differences in shell growth rate between treatments are attributed to possible differences in habitat quality between sites.Our results demonstrate that A. plicata and Q. houstonensis are tolerant of translocation, despite the broad assumption that translocation is detrimental to mussels. Thus, there is a continuing need to study species' responses to translocation to test and improve the ecological soundness of this strategy, particularly because climate change and other human stressors will exacerbate the need to implement conservation measures such as translocation in future decades.
      PubDate: 2017-08-02T03:11:16.41317-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2817
  • Habitat use of globally threatened juvenile Chinese horseshoe crab,
           Tachypleus tridentatus under the influence of simulated intertidal oyster
           culture structures in Hong Kong
    • Authors: Billy K.Y. Kwan; Hoi Kin Chan, Siu Gin Cheung
      Abstract: Little is known about the ecological impacts of oyster culture structures on intertidal communities. In the present study, distribution and movement patterns of juvenile Chinese horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus were assessed on a mudflat at Ha Pak Nai in Deep Bay, Hong Kong.As the traditional bottom-laying method of using concrete posts as cultch for collecting oyster spat is a common practice in Hong Kong, structurally similar bricks were used to simulate the potential effects of cultch on intertidal flats.Over the two-month experimental period, all the tested sediment physico-chemical characteristics, including median particle size and total organic content, remained unchanged among the treatment areas. However, juvenile densities and foraging trails at low- and high-density brick areas were significantly lower/shorter compared with the adjacent bare areas. Such effects were more evident for larger individuals since significant correlations were found between foraging distance and juvenile prosomal width in no-brick areas, but not the low- and high-density brick areas. In addition, most juveniles (> 95%) were observed feeding along the outer boundaries of brick areas.Such findings imply that the extensive artificial structures in oyster cultivation sites could induce physical disturbance and alter the habitat use of juvenile horseshoe crabs in the intertidal zone. Considering the high conservation value of Chinese horseshoe crabs, appropriate mitigation measures should be implemented to buffer the detrimental effects on horseshoe crabs and other marine organisms of conservation concern that utilize intertidal habitats as nursery and hatchery grounds.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14T05:30:58.99097-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2811
  • Tourism impact on stream fish measured with an ecological and a
           behavioural indicator
    • Authors: Eduardo Bessa; Benjamin Geffroy, Eliane Gonçalves-De-Freitas
      Abstract: As nature-based tourism grows, its impacts on aquatic ecosystems follow, requiring effective management techniques to conserve river integrity. Nevertheless, strong indicators of tourism impacts are scarce and have seldom been studied for many species.This study evaluated whether microhabitat use and activity period of a variety of fish species are effective for assessing tourism impacts in a headwater stream in which recreation (snorkelling) occurs. Microhabitat use and activity period of the most representative fish were observed in river stretches used for recreation and compared with reference stretches.Fish neither altered microhabitat use nor became more cryptic owing to tourism, maybe because they have evolved to occupy a certain microhabitat and cannot inhabit others, thus making habitat use a poor indicator of tourism impact.Fish respond to the presence of tourists by changing the promptness to begin and end activity, making the time of activity a good indicator of tourism impact, which can be easily assessed by tourism managers or government agencies and used to control the environmental impact of recreation involving fish.It is suggested that aquatic conservation protocols should include local indicators, and that behavioural indicators (activity period) might be more relevant than ecological indicators (microhabitat use) for early recognition of tourism impacts. These findings can be extended to the conservation of other fish communities subject to intensive tourism and with a strong circadian rhythm, such as coral reef fishes.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14T05:23:23.869296-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2804
  • Testing the exclusion capabilities and durability of the Sharksafe Barrier
           to determine its viability as an eco-friendly alternative to current shark
           culling methodologies
    • Authors: C.P. O'Connell; S. Andreotti, M. Rutzen, M. Meӱer, C.A. Matthee
      Abstract: Following a shark attack, local governments often rapidly respond by implementing indiscriminate shark culls. These culls have been demonstrated to have substantial localized and adverse effects on a variety of marine organisms, and therefore there is an increasing need for an eco-friendly alternative that maximizes both beachgoer and marine organismal safety.In response to such culls, the novel magnetic barrier technology, the Sharksafe Barrier was developed and rigorously tested on a variety of sharks implicated in shark attacks (e.g. bull sharks – Carcharhinus leucas and white sharks – Carcharodon carcharias). Although these studies exhibited promise in shark swim pattern manipulation and C. leucas exclusion, research was lacking in assessing if the technology could serve as an alternative to shark nets, or more specifically, if it could exclude motivated C. carcharias from bait.Using a 13 m × 13 m square exclusion zone, this study aimed to test the C. carcharias exclusion capabilities of the Sharksafe Barrier while additionally assessing the long-term structural integrity of the system.After 34 trials and approximately 255 hours of total video collected over two years, data illustrate that all interacting C. carcharias were successfully excluded from the baited Sharksafe Barrier region, whereas teleosts and other small elasmobranch species were not. In addition, the long-term deployment potential of this barrier system held promise owing to its ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions.Therefore, with the successful exclusion of a second large shark species, C. carcharias, from a baited region, continued long-term research and implementation of this system at other locations should be considered to assess its viability and overall success as a bather and shark protection system.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14T05:10:27.889204-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2803
  • Crayfish in central and southern Ukraine with special focus on populations
           of indigenous crayfish Astacus pachypus (Rathke, 1837) and their
           conservation needs
    • Authors: Tomas Policar; Volodymyr Bondarenko, Oles Bezusyj, Vlastimil Stejskal, Jiri Kristan, Oleksandr Malinovskyi, Aiman Imentai, Miroslav Blecha, Yuriy Pylypenko
      Abstract: The thick-clawed crayfish (Astacus pachypus Rathke, 1837) is the least studied indigenous crayfish species in Europe. Information about its distribution and biology is out of date by more than 15 years.This study identified 94 localities with potential occurrence of thick-clawed crayfish in eight southern and central regions of Ukraine, using questionnaire and literature analysis. Based on the information obtained, a field survey was conducted to examine and confirm the current distribution and abundance of crayfish species and evaluate basic water quality and habitat characteristics in each locality.Details of density, sex ratio in the catches, health and moulting condition, threat level and water quality were identified for each population of A. pachypus.Only four populations of this species were found, in lower parts of the Dnieper River, co-occurring with Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, in Kakhovka reservoir near Vesele village, two sites on the Dnieper River near Nova Kakhovka town and near Prydniprovske village, and one locality on the Dnieper's tributary – the Ingulec River near Sadove village.Populations of thick-clawed crayfish at three sites had low crayfish densities of 0.3–0.4 crayfish m−2 or catch efficiency 0.2 crayfish per trap night. Only one locality on the Dnieper River, close to Nova Khakovka, had a stronger population with higher density (1.7 crayfish m−2).Healthy thick-clawed crayfish inhabit larger water bodies with stable environments and good water quality. Female catch per unit effort was lower, and they had a higher percentage of chelae injuries compared with males.All of the identified thick-clawed crayfish populations are exploited by uncontrolled fishing for consumption and there is an urgent need for conservation of both the crayfish and their habitat.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14T05:05:29.218218-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2798
  • Behaviour of recreational spearfishers and its impacts on corals
    • Authors: Vinicius J. Giglio; Osmar J. Luiz, Moysés C. Barbosa, Carlos E.L. Ferreira
      Abstract: Recreational diving is a concern regarding its effects on benthic assemblages, especially on heavily dived coral reefs. However, spearfisher behaviour and the scale of damage they cause to corals remains unknown.The behaviour of recreational spearfishers was observed to determine their rate of physical contacts with corals. The experience level and fishes captured by spearfishers were assessed to establish their relationship with the number of contacts with corals.All spearfishers made contact with corals, at an average rate of 1.25 ± 0.1 SE touches per minute and caused physical damage at a rate 0.51 ± 0.04 per minute. Massive corals were most frequently touched and branching corals were most frequently damaged. Touches and damage occurred mainly through fin kicks, spearfisher bodies and spearguns. Contact rates varied according to spearfisher experience level and the fish they were targeting. Novice spearfishers showed no preference for specific targets while experienced spearfishers target mesopredator fishes.Spearfishing caused the highest known rates of touches and damage to corals among all the activities involving recreational diving. The activity may add to local stressors on corals, especially at sites with high visitation rates. Understanding how the factors that affect spearfisher behaviour and their effects on corals may help managers to develop strategies to mitigate the incidence of damaging behaviour.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14T04:56:51.209402-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2797
  • High-resolution ecological niche modelling of threatened freshwater
           mussels in east Texas, USA
    • Authors: Ashley D. Walters; David Ford, En Tze Chong, Marsha G. Williams, Neil B. Ford, Lance R. Williams, Joshua A. Banta
      Abstract: Unionid freshwater mussels are one of the most imperilled groups in North America. They play an important role in freshwater ecosystems, both as a food source and as filter feeders. Their priority conservation status has generated interest in unionid research.Here, data from the US Geological Survey was used to produce predictive models of mussel habitat affinities at a resolution of 100 m2 across an area of thousands of square kilometres.This approach correctly identifies areas that are more suitable for threatened mussel species beds as compared with less suitable areas (>97% of the time) Stream segments were identified that are forecast to have high suitability for threatened mussels.Potamilus amphichaenus differed from other threatened mussel species by being associated with a wider range of volumetric flow rates and by not being restricted by the clay content of the soils. Of the species examined, it was the most large-river oriented in habitat use and distribution.These methods can help conservation planners and land-use managers make rational decisions about where to focus their efforts in lotic habitats without the need for intensive environmental measurements while still providing high-resolution information.
      PubDate: 2017-07-13T01:10:45.789438-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2784
  • Genetic differentiation and historical demography of wood stork
           populations in Brazilian wetlands: Implications for the conservation of
           the species and associated ecosystems
    • Authors: Carolina I. Miño; Luiza H. da Silva Avelar, Fagner M. Silva, Manolo F. Perez, Luiza F. Menezes, Silvia N. Del Lama
      Abstract: Wetlands are increasingly threatened by human activities worldwide. Genetic monitoring of associated wildlife provides valuable data to support their conservation. Waterbirds such as the wood stork (Mycteria americana) are good bioindicators of wetland disturbance and destruction.This study investigated past and contemporary levels of genetic diversity, differentiation and demographic processes in 236 wood storks from two major wetlands in Brazil in which breeding colonies are concentrated, using nine microsatellite loci and a 237-bp untranslated fragment of the mitochondrial Control Region.Amapá populations (northern region) showed slightly higher levels of genetic diversity than Pantanal populations (central western region) and both populations had a low number of effective breeders.Results from assignment tests, F-statistics, AMOVA, spatial and non-spatial Bayesian clustering analyses support the hypothesis of gene flow among colonies within regions, but significant differentiation between regions.The better supported Bayesian coalescent models based on both markers indicated that the northern population exchanged migrants with unsampled populations, and that the central western population was founded by individuals from the north. Mitochondrial estimates revealed that the timing of population divergence broadly overlapped the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and that the central western population expanded more recently than the northern population.The results support the hypothesis that the coastal wetlands in northern Brazil remained stable enough to shelter large wood stork populations during the LGM and storks colonized freshwater wetlands in the central western region following deglacial warming.Conservation policies and protective measures should consider Amapá and Pantanal wood stork populations as genetically differentiated units and priority should be given to Amapá populations that represent the source gene pool. Continuous genetic monitoring of wood storks would help detect genetic signs of changes in demographic trends that may reflect alterations or degradation in wetlands.
      PubDate: 2017-07-13T00:35:30.788189-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2791
  • Modelling functional fish habitat connectivity in rivers: A case study for
           prioritizing restoration actions targeting brown trout
    • Authors: Mathieu L. Roy; Céline Le Pichon
      Abstract: Throughout the world, decreased connectivity of fluvial habitats caused by artificial river channel alterations such as culverts, weirs and dykes is seen as an important threat to the long-term survival of many aquatic species. In addition to assessing habitat quality and abundance, wildlife managers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of taking into account habitat connectivity when setting priorities for restoration. In this paper, a new approach of spatial analysis adapted to rivers and streams is proposed for modelling 2D functional habitat connectivity, integrating distance, costs and risk of travelling between habitat patches (e.g. daily use, spawning, refuge) for particular fish species, size classes and life stages.This approach was applied to a case study in which brown trout (Salmo trutta) habitat accessibility was examined and compared under various scenarios of stream restoration in a highly fragmented stream in Ile-de-France. Probabilities of reaching spawning habitats were estimated from a trout-populated area located downstream of the barriers and from potential daily-use habitat patches across the stream segment.The approach successfully helped prioritize restoration actions by identifying options that yield the greatest increase in accessible spawning habitat areas and connectivity between spawning habitat and daily-use habitat patches. This case study illustrates the practical use of the approach and the software in the context of river habitat management.
      PubDate: 2017-07-12T23:00:51.786928-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2786
  • Shining a light on the loss of rheophilic fish habitat in lowland rivers
           as a forgotten consequence of barriers, and its implications for
    • Authors: Kim Birnie-Gauvin; Kim Aarestrup, Thorsten M.O. Riis, Niels Jepsen, Anders Koed
      Abstract: The majority of rivers around Europe have been modified in one way or another, and no longer have an original, continuous flow from source to outlet. The presence of weirs and dams has altered habitats, thus affecting the wildlife that lives within them. This is especially true for migrating rheophilic fish species, which, in addition to safe passage, depend on gradient and fast-flowing waters for reproductive success and early development.Thus far, research has focused on investigating the impacts of weirs and dams on fish passage, with less attention paid to the loss of habitat entrained by such infrastructure. The loss of rheophilic habitat is particularly important in lowland streams, where gradient is limited, and dams and weirs can be constructed with less effort.Denmark is considered a typical lowland country, where the landscape around streams and rivers has been modified by agriculture and other human activities for centuries, leaving management practitioners wondering how much change is acceptable to maintain sustainable fish populations and fisheries practices.With examples from Denmark, this paper attempts to conceptualize the loss in habitat as a result of barriers in lowland streams and rivers, and the repercussions that such alterations may have on rheophilic fish populations. Furthermore, the need for management to address habitat loss and its related consequences concurrently with the improvement of fish passage is emphasized.
      PubDate: 2017-07-12T06:20:52.043667-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2795
  • A qPCR MGB probe based eDNA assay for European freshwater pearl mussel
           (Margaritifera margaritifera L.)
    • Authors: Jeanette E.L. Carlsson; Damian Egan, Patrick C. Collins, Edward D. Farrell, Fran Igoe, Jens Carlsson
      Abstract: 1. Environmental (e)DNA assays are becoming increasingly used to detect rare or invasive aquatic species.2. The Critically Endangered freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera is undergoing range-wide reduction in population numbers and distribution.3. An eDNA assay to detect the presence of M. margaritifera was developed, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene, utilizing species-specific primers, a minor groove binding (MGB) probe and quantitative (q)PCR approaches.4. The results from this pilot study demonstrated high sensitivity both in laboratory and field trials, and provide a valuable non-invasive tool for detecting M. margaritifera.
      PubDate: 2017-07-12T06:00:19.327244-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2788
  • Sea turtles bycatch in the Adriatic Sea set net fisheries and possible
           hot-spot identification
    • Authors: Alessandro Lucchetti; Claudio Vasapollo, Massimo Virgili
      Abstract: Bycatch resulting from fishing activities is the main threat for the conservation of sea turtles in the Mediterranean Sea. Fixed nets are a matter of concern for sea turtles mainly in coastal areas during the neritic stage when both juvenile and adult life stages are affected. Mortality caused by entanglement in set nets is related to forced apnoea due to the high soak time of the nets and consequent drowning.This study investigated the loggerhead turtle bycatch in set net coastal fisheries in the northern Adriatic Sea (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean Geographical Sub-Area 17, [GSA 17]) through an interview-based approach, to understand the potential contribution of these fisheries to the general decline of the sea turtle population. A second goal was to identify a possible hot-spot turtle bycatch area through on-board observations.The study estimates that more than 5400 turtles are caught in the west GSA 17 each year with the largest number in the summer. A hot-spot for entanglement was also identified in an area located south of the River Po delta (41.5–69 m depth) during the summer. Sixty-four turtles were caught over a period of 30 fishing days by either trammel nets and gillnets (0.7 and 0.5 turtle per km of net respectively) and was the greatest number that has been observed anywhere in the Mediterranean.Possible management strategies to reduce bycatch include technical modification to gear setting (such as reducing netting slack and using small meshes), bycatch reducer devices (such as LED UV), and area and seasonal gear restrictions to small-scale fisheries in areas of greatest concern in the northern Adriatic Sea.
      PubDate: 2017-07-12T04:50:33.503855-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2787
  • Distribution, habitat associations and conservation implications of Sri
           Lankan freshwater terrapins outside the protected area network
    • Authors: Suranjan Karunarathna; A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe, Sujan Henkanaththegedara, Thilina Surasinghe, Majintha Madawala, Dinesh Gabadage, Madhava Botejue
      Abstract: Terrapins are integral to many freshwater ecosystems, yet are imperilled at a global scale. In Sri Lanka, terrapins are understudied; thus, much of their natural history and distribution status remain unknown. Such paucity of studies impedes conservation.In this study, 79 freshwater habitats located outside the protected area network of south-western Sri Lanka were surveyed to document current population densities and habitat use of two terrapin species: Indian black terrapin (Melanochelys trijuga thermalis) and flap-shelled terrapin (Lissemys ceylonensis). Local inhabitants were interviewed to assess human threats towards terrapins.Both species were recorded in low densities: 1–2 individuals ha−1. Indian black terrapin was found in half of the surveyed sites while flap-shelled terrapin occurred in one-third of the surveyed sites. Highly urbanized river basins had the lowest densities for both species while rural basins supported higher numbers. Basking was the predominant behaviour of both species and large woody debris and boulders were preferred as basking substrates, together with sparse-canopy aquatic habitats with intact marshlands.Overharvesting for meat was a major threat for terrapins. Most local inhabitants were unaware of legislation on terrapin conservation and the ecological importance of terrapins. Human threats such as pollution, modification of aquatic and wetland habitats, and loss of riparian forests were frequently observed in surveyed sites. Terrapin populations outside the protected area are at risk as evidenced by lower population densities and a multitude of human threats.A landscape-scale ecosystem-based conservation approach is recommended for Sri Lanka's terrapins with incorporation of lands with different management regimes (privately owned, municipality managed) into the protected area network. Current environmental legislation should be revised to support buffer zone delineation for aquatic habitats, wetland restoration, and landscape-scale connectivity.
      PubDate: 2017-07-06T05:50:36.77063-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2792
  • A century of fishery data documenting the collapse of smooth-hounds
           (Mustelus spp.) in the Mediterranean Sea
    • Authors: Francesco Colloca; Marco Enea, Sergio Ragonese, Manfredi Di Lorenzo
      Abstract: Conservation and management of shark populations is increasingly becoming important in many marine regions, since there is a growing body of evidence showing that several species are threatened and continuing to decline because of unregulated fishing. Quantifying the extent of sharks' decline, the risk of species extinction, and the consequences for marine ecosystems have been challenging and controversial, mostly due to data limitations.In this study, more than one century of multiple-sources of bibliographic records on presence and frequency of occurrence of three species of commercial sharks, the smooth-hounds Mustelus spp., in the Mediterranean Sea were compiled and analysed. Generalized additive models for location, scale and shape (GAMLSS) were used to estimate the rate of change of two of these species, Mustelus mustelus and Mustelus punctulatus, in four Mediterranean regions.Model results showed that smooth-hounds have declined by 80–90% since the beginning of last century to almost disappear in a large part of their original distributional range during the 1980s and 1990s.Based on modelling results, a revision of the current International Union for Conservation of Nature classification of Mediterranean smooth-hounds would be advisable along with the application of urgent conservation measures.
      PubDate: 2017-06-29T05:00:33.922061-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2789
  • Catching invasive Chinese mitten crabs while releasing the endangered
    • Authors: Paul F. Clark; Paris V. Stefanoudis, Oliver A. Crimmen, Dave Pearce, Darryl Clifton-Dey, David Morritt
      Abstract: Modifications of a traditional fyke net design were trialled in 42 hauls over 5 months at 42 locations in the Thames estuary, London. These trials were to determine whether the modified nets could be used to catch invasive mitten crabs while at the same time releasing endangered eels, back into the river.The modifications included rings of different diameters fixed into the netting to provide escape apertures and also a variation in mesh size. A standard, unmodified net was included as a control.Captured mitten crabs, eels and other fish by-catch were measured and recorded for all deployed nets. Mitten crabs and eels were caught in all nets except those of the largest mesh size (70 mm) which caught no eels. This may have been the combined effect of the mesh size and it being set on the square, versus the normal diagonal netting which may become increasingly constricted in one axis, under tension. Such a square mesh net could be used to trap crabs of carapace width> 65 mm, while releasing all eels.The smallest rings, 22 mm internal diameter, inserted into the mesh may have allowed the escape of eels < 35 cm length, but retained larger, market legal, individuals. This suggests that a slightly smaller escape ring could potentially be used to release eels of ≤ 30 cm in length, in line with current regulations.
      PubDate: 2017-06-29T04:56:27.177591-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2779
  • Developing a landscape-scale, multi-species, and cost-efficient
           conservation strategy for imperilled aquatic species in the Upper
           Tennessee River Basin, USA
    • Authors: David R. Smith; Robert S. Butler, Jess W. Jones, Catherine M. Gatenby, Roberta E. Hylton, Mary J. Parkin, Cindy A. Schulz
      Abstract: Strategic conservation of imperilled species faces several major challenges including uncertainty in species response to management actions, budgetary constraints that limit options, and the need to scale expected conservation benefits from local to landscape levels and from single to multiple species.A structured decision-making process was applied to address these challenges and identify a cost-effective conservation strategy for the Federally listed endangered and threatened aquatic species in the Upper Tennessee River Basin (UTRB). The UTRB, which encompasses a landscape of ~58 000 km2, primarily in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and south-western Virginia, harbours one of the most globally diverse assemblages of freshwater fishes and mussels at temperate latitudes. To develop a strategy for conservation of 12 fish species and 24 mussel species over a 20-year period, a management strategy that would best recover these species was identified given costs and uncertainty in management effectiveness.The main insights came from a trade-off analysis that compared alternative allocations of effort among management actions. A strategy emphasizing population management, which included propagation and translocation, performed best across a wide range of objective weightings and was robust to uncertainty in management effectiveness. Species prioritization was based on the expected conservation benefit from the best performing strategy, degree of imperilment, and species-specific management costs. Sub-basin prioritization was based on expected conservation benefit from the best performing strategy and feasibility of habitat management and threat abatement.Although the strategy was developed for imperilled aquatic species in the UTRB, the structured process is applicable for developing cost-efficient strategies to conserve multiple species across a landscape under uncertain management effectiveness. The process can assist a manager with limited resources to understand which species to work on, where to conduct that work, and what work would be most beneficial for those species in those catchments.
      PubDate: 2017-06-29T04:51:00.515306-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2785
  • Invasive Asian clam distribution pattern reveals minimal constraints to
           downstream dispersal and imperceptible ecological impacts
    • Authors: Joana Luísa Pereira; Tânia Vidal, Cristiana Mendes, Ana Ré, Joana Isabel Santos, Fernando Gonçalves, Bruno Branco Castro
      Abstract: The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea is an invasive freshwater species that can cause adverse ecological and economic impacts. Information on its dispersal abilities, ecological preferences and impacts may contribute towards the improvement of management strategies, including those relating to regulatory demands such as the European Water Framework Directive (WFD).Both the above perspectives were addressed through inspection of environmental constraints to C. fluminea dispersal and impacts in a semi-natural drainage catchment (interconnected system of ditches). Forty sites were surveyed in 2014 to describe the species distribution and to characterize benthic macroinvertebrate communities, water column and sediment physico-chemistry, as well as the hydromorphological conditions.Clams were unevenly distributed in the study area and artificial barriers (dikes) did not prevent downstream dispersal of juveniles. Large variation in clam density (0–3077 clams m−2) could not be explained by physico-chemical or hydromorphological gradients. Although typical clam preference ranges reported in the literature were often exceeded, dense populations were nevertheless observed.Macroinvertebrate community structure suggested associations between the Asian clam and some functional feeding groups. However, the impacts of clams on macroinvertebrate assemblages and ecological quality were negligible, suggesting that contemporary methods designed to comply with the WFD bioassessment scheme may fail to detect important drivers of ecological change in freshwater ecosystems.This study demonstrated the reduced ecological impacts and broad ecological competence of the Asian clam, but also that its spread depends on human vectors. These findings highlight the need to rethink prediction tools supporting preventive measures against the introduction and spread of this invasive bivalve.
      PubDate: 2017-06-23T01:51:22.175768-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2777
  • Living on the edge: Traits of freshwater fish species at risk in Canada
    • Authors: William R. Glass; Lynda D. Corkum, Nicholas E. Mandrak
      Abstract: The native ranges of many species in North America reach their northern extent in southern Canada, which results in several aquatic species with core populations found farther south being assessed as at risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and receiving protection under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).To determine traits that predict at-risk status for freshwater fishes in Canada a classification and regression tree analysis was performed using a suite of ecological and life-history traits, and the species’ distributions in Canada.Range-edge distribution in Canada was a significant predictor of a species assessed as at risk by COSEWIC and to be listed as at risk under SARA. Other predictive traits included Balon reproductive guild, reproductive age/maximum age ratio, and lifespan. Species with economic value were also not likely to be assessed as at risk by COSEWIC. Analyses showed greater inconsistency in listing status under SARA than COSEWIC assessment, and a bias toward not listing species, despite predicted at-risk status, was evident.The predictive models may prove useful in making future conservation decisions and highlight species that should have their status (re)assessed.
      PubDate: 2017-06-15T00:20:23.211265-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2781
  • Examining horizontal and vertical social ties to achieve
           social–ecological fit in an emerging marine reserve network
    • Authors: Steven M. Alexander; Derek Armitage, Peter J. Carrington, Örjan Bodin
      Abstract: Most MPA networks are designed only with ecological processes in mind to increase their conservation utility. However, since MPA networks often involve large geographic areas, they also affect and involve multiple actors, institutions, and policy sectors.A key challenge when establishing an effective MPA network is to align the ‘social system’ with the biophysical MPA network (the ‘ecological system’). This challenge is often denoted as ‘social–ecological fit’.Facilitating collaborative social interactions among various actors and stakeholders (social connectivity) is equally as important as accomplishing ecological connectivity. New analytical approaches are required to effectively examine this ‘social’ dimension of fit.An emerging marine reserve network in Jamaica and the recent invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish are used as a case study to: (1) examine the extent to which horizontal and vertical social ties bring local and national actors together to collaborate, coordinate, and share knowledge; and (2) assess the extent to which different attributes and features of such multilevel social networks may enhance or inhibit particular aspects of social–ecological fit.Findings suggest that multilevel linkages have played the greatest role in relation to enhancing fit in the marine reserve network in the context of the recent lionfish invasion. However, the long-term propensity of the multi-actor and multilevel networks to enhance social–ecological fit is uncertain given the prevalence of weak social ties, lack of a culture of information sharing and collaboration, and limited financial resources.
      PubDate: 2017-06-09T15:20:27.798387-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2775
  • Long-term habitat loss in a lightly-disturbed population of the
           Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, Sousa chinensis
    • Authors: Haiping Wu; Yuhou Xu, Chongwei Peng, Yongyan Liao, Xianyan Wang, Thomas A. Jefferson, Hu Huang, Shiang-Lin Huang
      Abstract: Coastal and estuarine waters are important ecosystems with high primary and secondary productivity, but they are prone to the impacts of habitat loss caused by anthropogenic activities. For species exclusively inhabiting coastal and estuarine waters, such as the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, Sousa chinensis, irreversible habitat loss can have dramatic implications for population viability.A Landsat image database was used to determine the extent of coastal changes along the northern Beibu Gulf, where a large humpback dolphin population is found. The results were compared with the standardized sighting gradient (SPUF) determined from a questionnaire survey of fishermen and likely core habitats identified by application of a global digital elevation model.Both SPUF and likely core habitat results indicated a continuous distribution of the humpback dolphin along the northern Beibu Gulf. Landsat images revealed that 129.6 km2 of coastal waters were permanently lost in the past 40 years, 60 km2 within the likely core habitats. Although this may be considered small, the impact of such habitat loss could be substantial in some local habitats.The humpback dolphin population in the northern Beibu Gulf should be regarded as one management unit, with two or more social subunits. Immediate systematic surveys are needed to fill information gaps on true distribution range and habitat-use patterns.Habitat protection actions for dolphins in the northern Beibu Gulf should include both core and linking habitats, including enacting protected areas in core habitats, mitigating anthropogenic impacts in likely habitats, restoring both coastal waters and surrounding landscape quality, effective treatment of industrial sewage discharge, and comprehensive environmental impact assessments for the planning of coastal development projects.
      PubDate: 2017-06-02T06:40:48.709765-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2778
  • Archipelago Los Roques: A potential baseline for reef fish assemblages in
           the southern Caribbean
    • Authors: Simon Elise; Isabel Urbina-Barreto, Hazael Boadas-Gil, Miguel Galindo-Vivas, Jesús Ernesto Arias-González, Sergio Ricardo Floeter, Alan Marc Friedlander, Michael Nemeth, Michel Kulbicki
      Abstract: Abstract1. Despite increasing policies of protection, few localities in the Caribbean remain spared from human impacts. These lightly affected areas can better reflect the past composition of reef fish assemblages and provide baseline information about the natural factors driving fish distributions in the region.2. Reef fish assemblage structures were analysed in 21 Caribbean fished areas and marine protected areas (MPAs) along a gradient of distance to the nearest major market place. Assemblage structures by size and by trophic group were significantly related to the distance to market.3. Relationships of reef fish life-history traits, families, and vulnerability indicators were examined with the seascape and the benthic composition at Los Roques Archipelago, the most isolated MPA in the analysis. Factors linked to seascape features were more important than benthic composition or human activities in explaining fish assemblage structure.4. Wave exposure was the most influential seascape metric. Exposed habitats were dominated by octocorals and sponges. More sheltered habitats were characterized by high coral cover, while leeward sites were characterized by steep slopes with close proximity to deeper water.5. Exposed habitats were mostly occupied by unspecialized fish species. Piscivore densities were high at south and south-west sites, and were likely related to the large concentrations of planktivorous fishes found there. South and south-west sites experience full oceanic conditions, and supported the highest species richness and densities within the archipelago.6. Los Roques National Park is one of the oldest and most remote Caribbean MPAs. Its fish assemblage structure is healthier than other fished or protected areas, with higher species richness, higher density of piscivores, and an abundance of large species. Predator–prey relationships provided additional evidence that Los Roques reef fish assemblage presented specific characteristics.7. The main patterns observed in this study represent a baseline for assessing reef fish assemblages elsewhere in the southern Caribbean.
      PubDate: 2017-06-02T06:25:41.510786-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2770
  • Decreasing population trend in coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops
           truncatus) from the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador
    • Authors: Fernando Félix; Andrea Calderón, Michelle Vintimilla, Rosa A. Bayas-Rea
      Abstract: The population status of the coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the inner estuary of the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador (3°S, 81°W) was assessed. Evaluated aspects included social organization, abundance and spatial distribution.Surveys focused on the western part of the estuary (Posorja and Estero Salado) but other areas in the central and eastern inner estuary were also surveyed.Effort included 68 trips, 5001 km of survey and 288.8 h at sea. Between 735 and 793 dolphins in 92 groups were recorded during the study.Dolphins are not evenly distributed but concentrated their activities in the mouths of large channels.A cluster analyses indicated that dolphins organize in partially discrete subunits referred to as communities.Abundance estimations were obtained using mark–recapture modelling for two communities: Posorja and Estero Salado (43 dolphins, 95% CI 37–49 and 65 dolphins, 95% CI 52–82 respectively).Four demographic parameters: average size of communities, average group size, average encounter rate and average density were compared with information obtained during the 1990s. In all cases the current values were between 39 and 54% lower; in the last three cases the difference was statistically significant.Possible causes of this apparent decline include bycatch, ship strikes, pollution and habitat degradation; however, none of these have been assessed in depth. Most probably, different stressors are affecting dolphin communities to different extents.A comprehensive assessment of the whole population inside the gulf is needed. Identifying major threats is a priority to define concrete actions to prevent further population decline.
      PubDate: 2017-06-02T05:30:33.61725-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2763
  • Kittiwake breeding success in the southern North Sea correlates with prior
           sandeel fishing mortality
    • Authors: Matthew J. Carroll; Mark Bolton, Ellie Owen, Guy Q.A. Anderson, Elizabeth K. Mackley, Euan K. Dunn, Robert W. Furness
      Abstract: In the North Sea, sandeels provide a vital food source for breeding seabirds, but are also the target of an industrial fishery. GPS tracking suggests that the most productive fishing grounds overlap with foraging areas of black-legged kittiwakes from eastern England, raising the prospect that the fishery could affect the birds. Rising sea temperatures also threaten sandeels, so kittiwake food supplies could be affected by local and larger-scale processes.Drivers of kittiwake breeding success at Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs Special Protection Area, the UK's largest colony, and one of the closest to the sandeel fishing grounds, were examined. Relationships between sandeel stocks, sea surface temperature and kittiwake breeding success were analysed with generalized linear mixed models and generalized linear models, with model performance assessed using the Akaike Information Criterion and R2.Higher kittiwake breeding success was associated with higher sandeel spawning stock biomass (SSB; biomass of sexually mature fish) the preceding winter (R2 = 21.5%) and lower sandeel fishing mortality two years previously (R2 = 22.3%). After temporal trends were removed, only the fishing mortality effect remained. Models with multiple predictors supported the importance of fishing mortality. Higher sandeel SSB was associated with lower temperatures (R2 = 15.2–38.6%) and lower sandeel fishing mortality (R2 = 24.2–26.1%).Hence, lower temperatures and fishing mortality were positively associated with sandeel biomass, and higher sandeel biomass and lower fishing mortality were positively associated with kittiwake productivity. In light of worsening environmental conditions and declining sandeel and kittiwake populations, careful consideration should be given to the requirements of sandeel-dependent predators when making fishery management decisions.
      PubDate: 2017-06-02T04:29:52.142116-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2780
  • Effects of relocation on metabolic profiles of freshwater mussels:
           Metabolomics as a tool for improving conservation techniques
    • Authors: Ieva Roznere; G. Thomas Watters, Barbara A. Wolfe, Marymegan Daly
      Abstract: Freshwater mussels are among the most endangered animals in North America. Although there are numerous state and federal programmes aimed at conserving them, knowledge of the effects of captivity and relocation remains limited.Metabolomic techniques were used to assess the physiological state of freshwater mussels (Amblema plicata) relocated from the Muskingum River in Ohio to a conservation facility and to another stream in Ohio. Haemolymph samples were taken from mussels in the Muskingum River (MUS group), the facility (CAP group), and Big Darby Creek (DAR group) in September 2012 (month 3 post-relocation), November 2012 (month 5), May 2013 (month 11), and August 2013 (month 14). Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry.In total, 95 biochemicals were identified during the 2012 sampling period and 104 biochemicals during the 2013 sampling period. Glucose and lipid metabolism remained similar among all groups. Differences between the MUS group and the CAP and DAR groups were observed in altered amino acid and nucleotide metabolism.The results are indicative of a general stress response, which is evident for a year post-relocation. Decreased levels of these metabolites are likely to be responsible for decreased growth rates and higher mortality often observed in relocated mussels.
      PubDate: 2017-05-30T03:27:20.258904-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2776
  • What's in an index' Comparing the ecological information provided by
           two indices to assess the status of coralligenous reefs in the NW
           Mediterranean Sea
    • Authors: Luigi Piazzi; Carlo Nike Bianchi, Enrico Cecchi, Giulia Gatti, Ivan Guala, Carla Morri, Stéphane Sartoretto, Fabrizio Serena, Monica Montefalcone
      Abstract: This study compared the results obtained through the concurrent use of the two indices ESCA (Ecological Status of Coralligenous Assemblages) and COARSE (COralligenous Assessment by ReefScape Estimate) to define the ecological status of coralligenous reefs.The study evaluated: i) the effectiveness of the two indices at a regional spatial scale (100 s of km); ii) the descriptors that mostly influence the indices; and iii) the ecological information provided by the two indices.Both ESCA and COARSE were applied to coralligenous reefs selected at sites affected by different human-induced pressures.The two indices provided different but complementary information to determine the intrinsic quality of coralligenous reefs and to detect the effects of human pressures on the associated assemblages.The simultaneous use of ESCA and COARSE can be effective in providing information about the alteration of ecological quality of coralligenous reefs, in order to achieve the requirements of European directives.
      PubDate: 2017-05-19T06:20:48.631551-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2773
  • Analysis of the plant composition of manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus)
           faeces in a lake in south-eastern Mexico
    • Authors: Gloria Ponce-García; León D. Olivera-Gómez, Eloy Solano
      Abstract: The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) is a species at risk of extinction. Its diet in freshwater environments has been scarcely studied in Mexico, despite its significance for managing populations and habitat.The diet of Antillean manatees inhabiting the Natural Protected Area of Laguna de las Ilusiones, in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, was studied during the rainy season.A microhistological analysis was conducted on 51 manatee faecal samples. The cuticle and epidermis of 35 plant species present in vegetation patches used as foraging grounds by the Antillean manatee were described.In total, 223 plant fragments belonging to 11 families and 25 vascular plant taxa were identified. Echinochloa polystachya had the highest frequency (70.6%). Plant richness per faecal sample varied between one and eight plant species.This manatee population feeds mainly on grass. The plant species found coincide with those reported in other studies on sirenian diets. However, 11 new plant species consumed by manatees were recorded. This is the most comprehensive study to date in river systems in Mexico on the botanical richness of manatee faeces. The information provided here can be applied to decision-making on the conservation of the Antillean manatee and its critical habitat.
      PubDate: 2017-05-12T05:32:06.324347-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2774
  • Demography of southern Australian bottlenose dolphins living in a
           protected inverse estuary
    • Authors: Cecilia Passadore; Luciana Möller, Fernando Diaz-Aguirre, Guido J. Parra
      Abstract: Assessments of demographic parameters are essential to understand the dynamics of wild populations, and for their efficient conservation and management. Here, sex-specific abundance, apparent survival and temporary emigration of southern Australian bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops cf. australis) in Coffin Bay (CB), South Australia, is investigated.Results are based on capture–recapture modelling of photo-identification data and molecular analyses of biopsy samples collected during boat-based surveys between September 2013 and October 2015 in the inner and outer areas of CB.The total super-population of dolphins (including calves) using the entire study area (263 km2) was estimated with POPAN models at 306 (95% CI: 291–323), which included 71 (68–73) marked females and 57 (55–60) marked males.Seasonal estimates of abundance for the inner area of CB (123 km2) obtained with Pollock's Closed Robust Design models remained relatively constant over the two years (marked females: 52–60, marked males: 46–52, and total: 193–209).The high density of dolphins inhabiting the inner area (seasonal range: 1.57–1.70 individuals km−2), high apparent survival rates estimated for both sexes (females: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.96–1.0; males: 0.95; 0.82–0.99), and low temporary emigration rates (0.02; 95% CI: 0.01–0.11) indicate that the inner area of CB offers highly favourable habitat for these dolphins.6-High biological productivity and low predation risk may promote these demographic patterns in the inner area of CB.7-This study provides a robust baseline of sex-specific population demographics of southern Australian bottlenose dolphins with important implications for future research and their management and conservation in South Australia.
      PubDate: 2017-05-12T05:16:11.605719-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2772
  • Population structure, distribution and habitat use of the Critically
           Endangered Angelshark, Squatina squatina, in the Canary Islands
    • Authors: Eva K. M. Meyers; Fernando Tuya, Joanna Barker, David Jiménez Alvarado, José Juan Castro-Hernández, Ricardo Haroun, Dennis Rödder
      Abstract: Angel sharks are among the most threatened fish worldwide, facing regional and global extinction. In Europe, populations of the three Critically Endangered angel sharks (Squatina aculeata, Squatina oculata and Squatina squatina) have been severely depleted.Taking advantage of the last global ‘hotspot’ of the angelshark, Squatina squatina, this study gathered data through a citizen science programme to describe the occurrence of this shark in the coastal waters of the Canary Islands. Specifically, this study described (1) the population structure, and (2) habitat use of this species, which was used in a Species Distribution Model to (3) examine realized and potential distribution patterns, and to (4) determine the relative importance of environmental predictors on the occurrence of S. squatina.Over the 12 months sampling period (April 2014 – March 2015), 678 sightings were reported. Individuals ranged from 20 to 200 cm (total length). Larger sightings of both females and neonates occurred mostly in April to July, i.e. during the pupping season. Males were significantly more frequent in November to January, i.e. during the mating season. Angelsharks were encountered at depths from
      PubDate: 2017-05-12T04:15:52.492508-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2769
  • Influence of seasonality on cetacean diversity, abundance, distribution
           and habitat use in the western Mediterranean Sea: Implications for
    • Authors: Antonella Arcangeli; Ilaria Campana, Marco A. Bologna
      Abstract: Cetaceans are key biological indicators of the status of marine waters and are protected under an extensive legislative framework. Research about these highly dynamic species is challenging, so seasonal cycles and patterns of distribution, especially in high sea areas, are still poorly understood.This study contributes to improving knowledge about cetacean occurrence in largely unexplored areas of medium-latitudes in the western Mediterranean Sea. Systematic surveys were conducted along a trans-regional transect over 3 years (October 2012 to September 2015) allowing consistent data collection over almost 60 000 km of effort through all seasons.Seasonal cetacean diversity was investigated using a 25 km2 grid cell as a statistical unit to explore patterns of abundance, distribution, and habitat use in three marine sectors (Sardinian–Balearic, Bonifacio Strait, Tyrrhenian). All cetacean species regularly present in the Mediterranean basin were detected, with highest occurrence in fin whale and striped dolphin, followed by bottlenose dolphin and sperm whale.The Sardinian–Balearic sector generally showed higher species richness and diversity than the Tyrrhenian, where seasonal variations were more pronounced. The study suggested seasonal movements, especially for fin whale and striped dolphin, in the Sardinian–Balearic sector with peaks of occurrence during spring/summer and lower numbers during winter/autumn, and also delivered interesting insights to rarer pelagic species.The study identified areas/seasons in which the combined effect of high species diversity, abundance, significance of hot spots and presence of juveniles require increasing conservation effort. Results underline the important contribution of continuous monitoring in high sea areas to the implementation of adaptive protection measures.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T02:55:44.275752-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2758
  • Exploring uncertainty in population viability analysis and its
           implications for the conservation of a freshwater fish
    • Authors: Megan R. McCusker; Janelle M.R. Curtis, Nathan R. Lovejoy, Nicholas E. Mandrak
      Abstract: A spatially explicit metapopulation viability model was created within RAMAS-GIS to address questions related to the conservation and management of a freshwater species at risk (Notropis anogenus). Population viability analysis was conducted to evaluate extinction risk and sensitivity analyses were undertaken to identify the most important spatial and non-spatial parameters influencing extinction and decline.As biodiversity offsets are increasingly used to compensate for habitat loss, the population model was also used to explore the effectiveness of four potential offsetting mechanisms. In particular, this study addressed whether the impact of habitat loss on a species at risk could be compensated by: (i) increasing habitat elsewhere; (ii) increasing vital rates; (iii) increasing abundance; and (iv) increasing connectivity.Results suggest that extinction risk is low for this metapopulation and that the risk of extinction was most sensitive to vital rates.Compensating habitat loss with habitat gain, the most straightforward approach explored, was by far the most effective type of compensation. Increasing vital rates was the second most promising approach. Although increasing abundance and increasing connectivity could not be categorically ruled out, their effectiveness was much more limited.Overall, this study provided insight into the influence of spatial and non-spatial parameters on abundance, patch occupancy, and extinction risk of an aquatic species. This approach can be applied to a wide variety of species to evaluate the effect of ecosystem perturbations and inform management options.
      PubDate: 2017-04-11T05:01:32.155537-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2761
  • Predation by invasive signal crayfish on early life stages of European
           barbel may be limited
    • Authors: Gordon H. Copp; Michael J. Godard, Lorenzo Vilizzi, Adam Ellis, William D. Riley
      Abstract: To determine whether or not signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus and native white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes prey on European barbel Barbus barbus eggs, interstitial free-embryos and emergent larvae, experiments were undertaken in salmonid (substratum) incubators (six treatments, four controls) fitted with video recorders.No corpses or remains of emergent barbel larvae or eggs, or parts thereof, were observed in any of the incubators containing buried eggs, and no emergent larvae showed any sign of attack. However, video evidence of a signal crayfish catching and consuming a barbel larva was obtained.There were no statistically significant differences between white-clawed and signal crayfish either in carapace length or weight at the beginning and end of the experiments. The conservation implications of these results are discussed.
      PubDate: 2017-04-07T07:16:48.574012-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2768
  • Non-native marine species in north-west Europe: Developing an approach to
           assess future spread using regional downscaled climate projections
    • Authors: Bryony Townhill; John Pinnegar, Jonathan Tinker, Miranda Jones, Stephen Simpson, Paul Stebbing, Stephen Dye
      Abstract: 1. Climate change can affect the survival, colonization and establishment of non-native species. Many non-native species common in Europe are spreading northwards as seawater temperatures increase. The similarity of climatic conditions between source and recipient areas is assumed to influence the establishment of such species, however, in a changing climate those conditions are difficult to predict.2. A risk assessment methodology has been applied to identify non-native species with proven invasive qualities that have not yet arrived in north-west Europe, but which could become problematic in the future. Those species with the highest potential to become established or be problematic have been taken forward, as well as some that may be economically beneficial, for species distribution modelling to determine future potential habitat distributions under projected climate change.3. In the past, species distribution models have usually made use of low resolution global environmental datasets. Here, to increase the local resolution of the distribution models, downscaled shelf seas climate change model outputs for north-west Europe were nested within global outputs. In this way the distribution model could be trained using the global species presence data including the species' native locations, and then projected using more comprehensive shelf seas data to understand habitat suitability in a potential recipient area.4. Distribution modelling found that habitat suitability will generally increase further north for those species with the highest potential to become established or problematic. Most of these are known to be species with potentially serious consequences for conservation. With caution, a small number of species may present an opportunity for the fishing industry or aquaculture. The ability to provide potential future distributions could be valuable in prioritizing species for monitoring or eradication programmes, increasing the chances of identifying problem species early. This is particularly important for vulnerable infrastructure or protected or threatened ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2017-04-07T07:02:53.197852-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2764
  • Genetic population structure of harbour seals in the United Kingdom and
           neighbouring waters
    • Authors: Morten Tange Olsen; Valentina Islas, Jeff A. Graves, Aubrie Onoufriou, Cecile Vincent, Sophie Brasseur, Anne Kirstine Frie, Ailsa J. Hall
      Abstract: In the United Kingdom (UK), several harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have been declining over the past decade. In order to understand the effect of these changes in abundance, this study seeks to determine the population structure of harbour seals in the UK, and in Scotland in particular, on a wider and finer spatial scale than has previously been reported.Harbour seals were genotyped from 18 different localities throughout the UK and neighbouring localities in mainland Europe, at 12 microsatellite loci. Results from Bayesian and frequency based tests of population structure suggested an initial structural division into two main groups consisting of localities in northern UK and southern UK–mainland Europe, respectively.These two clusters were further divided into four geographically distinct genetic clusters.An overall agreement between the genetic results and the existing management areas for UK harbour seals was observed, but it is also clear that an adaptive management approach should be adopted, in which the delineation of the current management areas is maintained until further genetic and ecological information has been accumulated and analysed.
      PubDate: 2017-04-07T06:56:57.979199-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2760
  • Artificial reefs as a reef restoration strategy in sediment-affected
           environments: Insights from long-term monitoring
    • Authors: Chin Soon Lionel Ng; Tai Chong Toh, Loke Ming Chou
      Abstract: Artificial reefs provide substrates that facilitate the rapid recruitment of marine biota such as corals and fish, and are commonly employed as coral restoration tools to assist recovery in degraded areas. While this strategy is successful in the immediate years post-deployment, its contribution to restoration over longer time scales is less well understood.The biological communities on Reef Enhancement Units (REUs), which had been deployed for more than a decade on Singapore's sediment-affected coral reefs, were surveyed.The diversity of sessile lifeforms on the REUs was significantly higher in 2014 (H′ = 1.03) than 2004 (H′ = 0.60). Hard corals and coralline algae contributed most to the temporal dissimilarity and turf algae remained the dominant lifeform category in both years.In 2014, hard corals and abiotic components contributed most to the spatial dissimilarity among the six REU plots that were surveyed. Shannon diversity values of these plots ranged from 0.74–1.3. Scleractinian cover ranged from 0.4–31.5% and differed significantly among the plots.The REUs also augmented ecosystem functioning at their respective plots. Colonies from 10 of the 30 scleractinian genera recorded were sexually mature, and a total of 119 sessile and mobile reef taxa utilized the REUs for food and habitat.The results demonstrate that artificial reefs can contribute to the development of biological communities and ecosystem functioning in degraded coral habitats over the long run, and underscore the need for long-term monitoring to validate the effectiveness of reef restoration efforts.
      PubDate: 2017-04-07T06:42:38.442937-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2755
  • Ensemble forecasting of Corbicula fluminea worldwide distribution:
           Projections of the impact of climate change
    • Authors: Mafalda Gama; Daniel Crespo, Marina Dolbeth, Pedro Manuel Anastácio
      Abstract: Global biodiversity is at risk owing to climate change, and freshwater ecosystems are expected to suffer the most. In recent years niche-based models (NBMs) have been used to predict species distribution and are an important tool for conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems. In this work, the current and future climatic suitability areas of the invasive species Corbicula fluminea, which has known adverse ecological and economic impacts, were investigated.The species distribution modelling was based on nine algorithms in BIOMOD2, summarized in an ensemble forecasting approach. To model the species distribution, eight climatic parameters related to temperature and precipitation variables were considered. Three time frames (current, 2050 and 2070) were modelled using four increasing CO2 emission scenarios.The performance of individual models was excellent according to the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and good to excellent according to true skill statistics (TSS). Annual mean temperature, minimum temperature of the coldest month and mean temperature of the coldest quarter were the most important variables predicting C. fluminea occurrence. Of the total continental area, 6.6% was predicted to be suitable for C. fluminea in current conditions.In the future, suitable area will increase from the current value of 6.6% to values from 9.4% to 12.6%, according to the 2050 projections and up to 12.7% in 2070 in high emission scenarios.Overall, the results indicate that climate change will favour the expansion of C. fluminea into new river basins, especially at higher latitudes, and that future climatic scenarios may double the suitable area for Corbicula fluminea.
      PubDate: 2017-04-04T05:40:56.326613-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2767
  • Demography of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) ammocoete populations in
           relation to potential spawning-migration obstructions
    • Authors: A. D. Nunn; R. J. Taylor, I. G. Cowx, R. A. A. Noble, J. D. Bolland, J. P. Harvey
      Abstract: Recent advances in the understanding of lamprey migrations have led to concerns over the impacts of obstructions on the demography of many species. This study investigated sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) larvae (ammocoetes) in two adjacent but contrasting rivers, both designated Special Areas of Conservation under the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), one (the River Wye) with a small number of potential migration obstructions in its upper reaches and one (the River Usk) with obstacles along its course. The geographical distributions, densities and age structures of the ammocoete populations were examined in relation to the locations of potential obstructions to the spawning migrations of anadromous adults.A minimum of three age classes was recorded as far as 200 km upstream of the mouth of the River Wye (93% of the length of the mainstem), demonstrating that adults regularly migrate to the upper reaches of the catchment (downstream of a natural waterfall). By contrast, sea lamprey ammocoetes appeared to be absent (in suitable habitat) from 20 km (17%) of the River Usk, and there was a reduction in density, prevalence and the number of age classes upstream of two putative spawning-migration obstructions.This study highlights some of the potential impacts of habitat fragmentation by obstructions on the spawning migrations of anadromous species, as inferred from ammocoete demography. When used in combination to compare contiguous reaches, ammocoete densities, prevalence and age structure may be a useful indicator of which structures are likely to be important migration obstructions, and where further studies or mitigation efforts should be focused. It is likely that passage past some obstructions is enhanced if high river levels occur during the spawning migration, but there is a need to facilitate passage during all conditions, to improve access to under-exploited spawning and nursery areas.
      PubDate: 2017-04-04T05:20:53.161167-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2748
  • Factors driving spatial variation in egg survival of an ecologically and
           culturally important forage fish
    • Authors: Britt Keeling; Margot Hessing-Lewis, Clark Housty, Daniel K. Okamoto, Edward J. Gregr, Anne K. Salomon
      Abstract: Low trophic-level forage fish are experiencing global declines, influencing coupled human–ocean systems worldwide. Along the northwest coast of North America, declining trajectories of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) have prompted interest in improving the understanding of its population and community dynamics to better guide future conservation and management strategies.To improve future population estimates and understanding of the ecological factors governing herring egg survival, the magnitude, spatial variation and mechanisms driving herring egg loss rates were quantified. This was achieved by way of repeated observational field surveys and a predator exclusion experiment.Observational surveys revealed that regional egg loss rates (Z) were substantial and ranged from 0.101 ± 0.019 to 0.134 ± 0.028, the equivalent of 88–94% egg loss over a 21 day incubation period, or 50–60% egg loss over 6.8 days, the average time lag between spawn deposition and annual egg surveys. Furthermore, spatial variation was high, with egg loss rates varying 5-fold among study sites. Depth, time since spawn, and spawn area were primary spatial drivers of egg loss, but predator abundance and exposure were secondarily important.Experimental evidence showed that benthic predation and habitat type were strong drivers of egg loss, suggesting that a high proportion of eggs, particularly those spawned on benthic substrates, are consumed by predators.These results have important conservation implications for managers and ecologists seeking to estimate herring biomass and to understand the environmental influences on predator–prey interactions that affect herring dynamics.
      PubDate: 2017-03-31T01:50:44.243104-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2757
  • Invasive Chinese pond mussel Sinanodonta woodiana threatens native mussel
           reproduction by inducing cross-resistance of host fish
    • Authors: Seth W. Donrovich; Karel Douda, Věra Plechingerová, Kateřina Rylková, Pavel Horký, Ondřej Slavík, Huan-Zhang Liu, Martin Reichard, Manuel Lopes-Lima, Ronaldo Sousa
      Abstract: The effects of invasive alien species (IAS) on host–affiliate relationships are often subtle and remain unnoticed or insufficiently quantified. The global decline of freshwater unionid mussel species has been attributed to many causes, but little is known about the interactions of IAS, with their complex life cycle, which includes an obligatory parasitic stage (the glochidium) that develops on fishes.The capacity of a European freshwater mussel, Anodonta anatina, to develop on its widespread fish host, Squalius cephalus was tested experimentally, after previous infestations by the IAS, Sinanodonta (Anodonta) woodiana. The initial attachment of glochidia, the length of the parasitic period, and the metamorphosis success rate of A. anatina glochidia were compared among treatments of different priming infestation intensities.The metamorphosis success rate of the native A. anatina glochidia was strongly reduced (Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test, P 
      PubDate: 2017-03-31T01:40:25.960636-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2759
  • Assessing the impacts of tourism on the world's largest fish Rhincodon
           typus at Panaon Island, Southern Leyte, Philippines
    • Authors: Gonzalo Araujo; Fabien Vivier, Jessica June Labaja, Daniel Hartley, Alessandro Ponzo
      Abstract: Shark-based tourism is a rapidly growing industry, particularly with whale sharks, as new hotspots are identified worldwide. Understanding any impacts of tourism is essential to minimize any potential detrimental effects on the target species and habitat.In-water behavioural observations of whale sharks were used to understand any impacts of tourism at a small site in Panaon Island, Southern Leyte, Philippines. A generalized linear mixed model was fitted to test anthropogenic and environmental variables, with interaction duration as the response variable, to assess any disturbance to the animals by the tourism activities.Whale sharks were observed between the months of November and June between 2013 and 2016, with highly variable seasons. In total, 527 tourist-whale shark interactions were recorded during 359 trips identifying 104 individual whale sharks, most of which were juvenile males (85%, measuring c. 5.5 m total length). Proximity of motorized vessels and interactions in deeper waters were found to significantly shorten interactions. Short-term behavioural changes were observed in response to human events (e.g. touching). Interactions when whale sharks were feeding were significantly longer than when they were not. Individual behavioural variability was observed.Impacts could be mitigated with small managerial changes and increased enforcement, such as limiting the number of motorized vessels and the number of people around the whale sharks. Although no long-term impacts were recorded during this study, it is difficult to ascertain this in a long-lived, wide-ranging species.This knowledge gap highlights the need to build long-term monitoring programmes, and to apply the precautionary principle for the sustainable use of this endangered species.
      PubDate: 2017-03-31T01:37:57.398131-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2762
  • Interactions of baseflow habitat constraints: Macroinvertebrate drift,
           stream temperature, and physical habitat for anadromous salmon in the
           Calapooia River, Oregon
    • Authors: Robert J. Danehy; Robert E. Bilby, Sara Owen, Steven D. Duke, Alex Farrand
      Abstract: The Calapooia River in western Oregon supports a small winter steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population and historically supported spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Early timber harvesting removed the riparian forest, and log transportation practices simplified the channel. Those disturbance legacies continue to affect fish habitat by limiting shade and channel complexity, complicating conservation efforts.To evaluate juvenile salmonid rearing potential, macroinvertebrate drift, thermal regime and physical habitat were measured at eight sites in 24 km of the upper river during late summer baseflow.Overall physical habitat was simple, with few functioning instream structures or pools. During the 22-day drift study, flows declined and maximum site stream temperatures ranged from 23.1°C at the lower end to 16.4°C 24 km upstream.Macroinvertebrate drift concentrations ranged from 0.7–13.7 ind. m−3 with biomasses from 0.02–1.23 mg m−3. Drift concentration biomass was higher upstream (P = 0.006) than downstream and declined overall (P 
      PubDate: 2017-03-29T05:00:47.5963-05:00
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2756
  • Conservation implications of establishment success of the Critically
           Endangered Twee River redfin ‘Pseudobarbus’ erubescens (Skelton, ) in
           an artificial impoundment in South Africa
    • Authors: Martine S. Jordaan; Johannes A. Walt, Zanné Brink, Sonja Erasmus, Olaf L. F. Weyl
      Abstract: This study reports the first known record of breeding of the Critically Endangered Twee River redfin ‘Pseudobarbus’ erubescens in an artificial impoundment. This followed an introduction of 48 individuals into a 10 ha impoundment within the species' native range more than a decade ago.Sampling the impoundment using three fyke nets set overnight yielded 2838 P. erubescens, which included both juveniles and adults capable of spawning. Fork length measurements of a subsample of 250 individuals ranged from 29 to 125 mm with length cohorts indicating multiple spawning events.This demonstrates that this species can successfully reproduce in lentic environments and suggests that artificial impoundments could be stocked to provide refugia for P. erubescens and other highly threatened small cyprinids while conservation strategies are developed to mitigate against habitat loss resulting from alien fish invasions, increased human use of water, and from climate change in rivers.
      PubDate: 2017-03-27T05:41:20.626498-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2747
  • Evaluation of physicochemical and physical habitat associations for
           Cambarus callainus (Big Sandy crayfish), an imperilled crayfish endemic to
           the Central Appalachians
    • Authors: Zachary J. Loughman; Stuart A. Welsh, Nicole M. Sadecky, Zachary W. Dillard, R. Katie Scott
      Abstract: 1. Crayfish represent one of the most imperilled animal groups on the planet. Habitat degradation, destruction and fragmentation, introduction of invasive crayfishes, and a lack of applied biological information have all been identified as agents thwarting crayfish conservation.2. Cambarus callainus was warranted federal protection by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in April, 2016. As part of the USFWS listing procedure, a survey for C. callainus in the Big Sandy River catchment was conducted to determine points of occurrence with a secondary objective of determining reach level physical habitat and physicochemical correlates of C. callainus presence and absence.3. At each site, physicochemical and physical habitat data were collected to determine the influence of abiotic covariates on the presence of C. callainus. Cambarus callainus presence or absence and associated site covariates were modelled using logistic regression.4. Survey results recorded C. callainus at 39 sites in the Upper Levisa Fork (ULF) and Tug Fork (TF) drainages of the Big Sandy River; no C. callainus were collected in the Lower Levisa Fork (LLF). An additive effects model of physical habitat quality (Basin + Boulder presence/embeddedness) was the only model selected, supporting an association of C. callainus with slab boulders, open interstitial spaces, and moderate to no sedimentation. All sites lacking C. callainus were experiencing some degree of sedimentation. Physicochemical covariates were not supported by the data.5. Results indicated that good quality habitat was lacking in the LLF, but was present in the ULF and TF catchments, with ULF supporting the most robust populations and most suitable habitat. Effective conservation for C. callainus should focus on efforts that limit sedimentation as well as restore good quality instream habitat in the greater Big Sandy catchment.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T06:41:31.743201-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2746
  • Whale-watching trips in Peru lead to increases in tourist knowledge,
           pro-conservation intentions and tourist concern for the impacts of
           whale-watching on humpback whales
    • Authors: Ana M. García-Cegarra; Aldo S. Pacheco
      Abstract: Since the implementation of the commercial whaling ban in the 1980s, whale-watching has become the most important economic activity involving whales worldwide.Whale-watching is promoted as a platform for education and conservation awareness of marine biodiversity. In Peru, where cetacean species are still in jeopardy, whale-watching may play an important part in promoting the protection of these species.This study aimed to determine the degree of whale-watching tourists' knowledge regarding cetacean ecology and conservation status and to evaluate if whale-watching tours could serve as platforms for educating the public and raising conservation awareness.The results of 196 closed-ended questionnaires and 20 open-ended interviews conducted before and after whale-watching tours, during the humpback whale season (winter–spring 2014) in northern Peru, revealed an overall lack of knowledge concerning the presence of species of cetaceans in Peruvian waters and threats to marine biodiversity. However, after the whale-watching excursion, participants said they would be more willing to change their behaviour with respect to cetacean conservation and marine environment protection.This study suggests that whale-watching platforms, when implemented with adequate interpreters, can serve as a source of environmental education and can raise conservation awareness. This is an important conservation strategy to consider in countries, such as Peru, where by-catch and direct hunting are decimating local cetacean populations.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T06:20:34.230578-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2754
  • Genetic population structure of black-browed and Campbell albatrosses, and
           implications for assigning provenance of birds killed in fisheries
    • Authors: Theresa M. Burg; Paulo Catry, Peter G. Ryan, Richard A. Phillips
      Abstract: Previous genetic studies found evidence of at least three distinct groups of black-browed Thalassarche melanophris and Campbell Thalassarche impavida albatrosses in the Southern Ocean. Almost 350 individuals including samples from additional breeding sites on the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island were screened using mitochondrial DNA.The new sequence data using lineage specific PCR primers provided further support for the taxonomic split of T. melanophris and T. impavida and separate management of the two distinct T. melanophris groups.In total, 207 black-browed albatrosses killed in longline fisheries were screened. Approximately 93% of the bycaught birds from the Falkland Islands belonged to the Falkland mtDNA group and the remaining birds had mtDNA from the Widespread T. melanophris group; these proportions were similar to those in the local Falklands breeding population. The South African and South Georgia bycatch samples predominantly comprised the Widespread T. melanophris group, with only one bird from each area containing Falkland mtDNA. Lastly, 81% of the albatrosses bycaught off New Zealand had T. impavida mtDNA and the remaining four birds were Widespread T. melanophris. These differences in bycatch composition matched what is known from tracking and banding data about the at-sea distribution of black-browed albatrosses.Based on the mtDNA results and current population trends, consideration should be given to assigning regional IUCN status for the different breeding populations.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T03:16:28.683575-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2765
  • Cold-water coral Madrepora oculata in the eastern Ligurian Sea (NW
           Mediterranean): Historical and recent findings
    • Authors: Emanuela Fanelli; Ivana Delbono, Roberta Ivaldi, Marta Pratellesi, Silvia Cocito, Andrea Peirano
      Abstract: Cold-water coral (CWC) ecosystems are long-lived, slow-growing and fragile, which makes them especially vulnerable to physical damage. In recent decades, CWCs have been severely threatened by fisheries, hydrocarbon extraction, pollution and other human activities.In the Mediterranean Sea, some investigations have been carried out on CWC ecosystems, mostly focused on their distributions within the central and eastern basins.Historical reports and fishermen's maps for the eastern Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean) from the 1960s document the occurrence of extensive banks of living CWC, mostly Madrepora oculata, between depths of 200 and 500 m.In 2013/2014, multibeam, side scan sonar (SSS) and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveys were carried out in that area, specifically in the Levante Canyon, to assess the occurrence, distribution and conservation status of CWC.The SSS and ROV showed numerous trawl tracks and small (10 cm high), dead, buried colonies at 300–500 m. Deeper, between 525 and 575 m, dense populations of living, 1 m high colonies of Madrepora oculata were found on the flanks of Levante Canyon. The deep sites showed colonies overturned or entangled by long-line fishing activities.The discovery of new CWC banks not yet heavily damaged by fishing activities, suggests that urgent measures for conservation should be taken in the Mediterranean and worldwide. The present limitation of trawl-fishing to above 1000 m depth, established by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) in 2005, seems to be ineffective, since CWCs are mostly located at less than 1000 m depth in the Ligurian Sea. A network of high-seas/deep-sea marine protected areas (MPAs) would favour a better strategy for protecting substantial areas of CWCs.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T03:11:46.738148-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2751
  • Contrasting influences of inundation and land use on the rate of
           floodplain restoration
    • Authors: Samantha K. Dawson; Richard T. Kingsford, Peter Berney, Jane A. Catford, David A. Keith, Jakub Stoklosa, Frank A. Hemmings
      Abstract: This study examined the assisted natural restoration of native vegetation in an Australian floodplain wetland where flows were reinstated and the river was reconnected to the floodplain, following cessation of agricultural cultivation.Extant vegetation was surveyed three times during an inundation event at plots with different land-use histories.Restoration rate was more influenced by past land use than long-term inundation frequency and success decreased with antecedent land-use intensity. Prolonged land-use history (>3 years cultivation) restricted restoration success. Sites with longer cultivation histories tended to have fewer aquatic species, more terrestrial species and exotic species. For example, amphibious responders with floating leaves were found only in reference plots and less frequently in farmed treatment plots. In this scenario, increased persistence of exotics and dryland species suggested alternative trajectories. Fields with a short land-use history (1–3 years of clearing and cultivation) resembled undisturbed floodplain communities, consistent with a ‘field of dreams’ hypothesis.Although river–floodplain reconnections can restore wetlands, legacy effects of past land use may limit the pace and outcomes of restoration.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T01:51:00.514624-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2749
  • Recommendations for monitoring freshwater fishes in river restoration
           plans: A wasted opportunity for assessing impact
    • Authors: Amaia A. Rodeles; David Galicia, Rafael Miranda
      Abstract: Many human activities in and on rivers cause the loss of freshwater biodiversity, especially fish, which now are one of the most endangered vertebrate groups. River fragmentation caused by the construction of dams is one of the main threats to fish species. In Spain, which has the highest number of dams per square kilometre in the world, more than half of all fish species are threatened by these constructions. The government has initiated the National Strategy for River Restoration, a plan to restore rivers and preserve their inhabitants, which includes the removal of dams.An information search and query was conducted to determine if fish monitoring was performed before and after dam removal, and the result was negative. Therefore, an assessment of the effects of dam removal on fish communities at a large spatial scale was not possible. Instead, an analysis was carried out to measure the effects of dam removal on river connectivity using a geometric network.The analysis of river connectivity improvement showed that 66% of removed dams had one or more dams less than 5 km away. The removal of dams increased the connected river length by an average of 6.4 km per dam removed, with the range varying between 1.04 km and 9.48 km, depending on the river basin.These results show that, although monitoring programmes are strongly recommended after restoration actions, they are not usually performed. This is a wasted opportunity to gather large datasets to understand better the effects of human actions on fish communities and on rivers.River connectivity results may reflect a demolition strategy based more on economic and social opportunism rather than on ecological considerations. It is strongly recommended that dam removal plans should be based on ecological selection methods to achieve greater river improvements with less investment.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T01:40:47.677475-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2753
  • Small dams need consideration in riverscape conservation assessments
    • Authors: Sukhmani Kaur Mantel; Nick Rivers-Moore, Pfananani Ramulifho
      Abstract: Small, off-channel dams are generally ignored in impact assessments owing to limited information and spatial resolution issues. Previous research on South African rivers showed correlative links between high density of small dams and associated reductions in low flows, poorer water quality, and impoverished aquatic macroinvertebrate communities that were dominated by opportunistic taxa instead of specialist groups.Since small dams are usually associated with catchment transformation (for example, vineyards, stock farming and exotic timber plantations), they are convenient surrogates of the impacts of catchment transformation on river functionality. Here, an index of cumulative small dams for South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland is presented and evaluated.Fifty-two per cent of the water management catchments in the study region exceeded the threshold for the cumulative small dams density (SDD) index above which river functionality is compromised. This estimate of potentially affected catchments is considered to be conservative for reasons discussed.The index results are compared with a recent systematic biodiversity planning exercise for setting biodiversity targets for freshwater areas of South Africa. Although the systematic planning included in-stream small dams within 50 m of a river, analysis showed that 36% of all quaternaries that have high SDD score overlap with river reaches classified as ‘natural’ or ‘largely natural’.Disregarding dams outside the 50 m buffer area equates to ignoring the majority of small dams (94%) in South Africa, and it is recommended that aquatic conservation assessments include the SDD index as a cost layer for prioritizing rivers for rehabilitation and conservation.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T03:26:05.257616-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2739
  • Effect of an intensive mechanical removal effort on a population of
           non-native rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in a South African headwater
    • Authors: Jeremy Shelton; Olaf Weyl, Johannes Van Der Walt, Sean Marr, Dean Impson, Kristine Maciejewski, Donovan Tye, Helen Dallas, Karen Esler
      Abstract: Invasions by non-native species can compromise the conservation value of otherwise pristine headwater streams. While both developed and developing countries recognize this threat, few of the latter have suitable budgets to implement control programmes.This study assessed the effectiveness of a mechanical project to remove non-native rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss from a 6 km section of the upper Krom River, a small headwater stream in the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa's Cape Floristic Region (CFR).From October 2013 to February 2014, 354 O. mykiss were removed by angling (58%), fyke netting (28%) and gill netting (14%). This resulted in a marked reduction, but not eradication, of the O. mykiss population (fish relative abundance decreased from 0.53 ± 0.09 fish per net per night in October 2013 to 0.21 ± 0.09 fish per net per night in February 2014). Following the cessation of manual removals, the relative abundance of O. mykiss had increased to 0.56 ± 0.18 fish per net per night by March 2016, suggesting that without sustained removal effort, the population will rapidly return to its pre-removal abundance level.Further work is needed to refine the methodology and test the effectiveness of mechanical removal of non-native freshwater fish in a variety of ecological settings in the CFR. This approach holds potential for meeting the dual goals of reducing the ecological impacts of non-native fishes and generating employment opportunities in line with the policy objectives of developing nations.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T03:26:00.713365-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2752
  • Effectiveness of shore-based remote camera monitoring for quantifying
           recreational fisher compliance in marine conservation areas
    • Authors: Darienne Lancaster; Philip Dearden, Dana R. Haggarty, John P. Volpe, Natalie C. Ban
      Abstract: Marine conservation areas require high levels of compliance to meet conservation objectives, yet little research has assessed compliance quantitatively, especially for recreational fishers. Recreational fishers take 12% of global annual fish catches. With millions of people fishing from small boats, this fishing sector is hard to monitor, making accurate quantification of non-compliance an urgent research priority.Shore-based remote camera monitoring was tested for quantifying recreational non-compliance in near-shore, coastal rockfish conservation areas (RCAs) in the Salish Sea, Canada.Six high definition trail cameras were used to monitor 42 locations between July and August 2014.Seventy-nine percent of monitored conservation area sites showed confirmed or probable fishing activity, with no significant difference in fishing effort inside and outside RCAs.Mixed effects generalized linear models were used to test environmental and geographic factors influencing compliance. Sites with greater depth had significantly higher fishing effort, which may imply high, barotrauma-induced, rockfish mortality in RCA sites.Non-compliance estimates were similar to aerial fly-over compliance data from 2011, suggesting that trail camera monitoring may be an accurate and affordable alternative method of assessing non-compliance in coastal conservation areas, especially for community-based organizations wishing to monitor local waters.Widespread non-compliance could compromise the ability of RCAs to protect and rebuild rockfish populations. Increased education, signage, and enforcement is likely to improve compliance.
      PubDate: 2017-02-17T02:43:57.009587-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2736
  • Does full protection count for the maintenance of β-diversity patterns in
           marine communities' Evidence from Mediterranean fish assemblages
    • Authors: Luca Appolloni; Stanislao Bevilacqua, Luisa Sbrescia, Roberto Sandulli, Antonio Terlizzi, Giovanni Fulvio Russo
      Abstract: Although it is widely recognized that protection may enhance size, abundance, and diversity of fish, its effect on spatial heterogeneity of fish assemblages and species turnover is still poorly understood.Here the effect of full protection within a Mediterranean marine protected area on β-diversity patterns of fish assemblages along a depth gradient comparing a no-take zone with multiple unprotected areas is explored. The no-take zone showed significantly higher synecological parameters, higher β-diversity among depths, and lower small-scale heterogeneity of fish assemblages relative to unprotected areas.Such patterns might likely depend on the high level of fishing pressure outside the no-take zone, as also abundance-biomass curves seemed to indicate. Results suggested that full protection could play a role in maintaining high β-diversity, thus reducing the fragility of marine communities and ecosystems, and spatial heterogeneity may represent a reliable predictor of how management actions could provide insurance against undesirable phase shifts.
      PubDate: 2017-02-15T07:50:41.543856-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2750
  • The status of marine biodiversity in the Eastern Central Atlantic (West
           and Central Africa)
    • Authors: Beth A. Polidoro; Gina M. Ralph, Kyle Strongin, Michael Harvey, Kent E. Carpenter, Rachel Arnold, Jack R. Buchanan, Khairdine Mohamed Abdallahi Camara, Bruce B. Collette, Mia T. Comeros-Raynal, Godefroy De Bruyne, Ofer Gon, Antony S. Harold, Heather Harwell, Percival A. Hulley, Tomio Iwamoto, Steen W. Knudsen, Jean de Dieu Lewembe, Christi Linardich, Kenyon C. Lindeman, Vanda Monteiro, Thomas Munroe, Francis K.E. Nunoo, Caroline M. Pollock, Stuart Poss, Barry Russell, Catherine Sayer, Aboubacar Sidibe, William Smith-Vaniz, Emilie Stump, Mor Sylla, Luis Tito De Morais, Jean-Christophe Vié, Akanbi Williams
      Abstract: The status of marine biodiversity in the Eastern Central Atlantic (ECA), especially of coastal and pelagic fishes, is of concern owing to a number of threats including overharvesting, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change combined with inadequate policy responses, legislation, and enforcement.This study provides the first comprehensive documentation of the presence, status, and level of extinction risk, based on IUCN Red List assessment methodology, for more than 1800 marine species, including all taxonomically described marine vertebrates (marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, fishes); complete clades of selected marine invertebrates (sea cucumbers, cone snails, cephalopods, lobsters, reef-building corals); and marine plants (mangroves, seagrasses).Approximately 8% of all marine species assessed in the ECA are in threatened categories, while 4% are listed as Near Threatened, 73% are Least Concern, and 15% are Data Deficient. Fisheries and overharvesting are the biggest threats to living marine resources in the ECA, with 87% of threatened species across all taxonomic groups affected by both large- and small-scale targeted fisheries, excessive capture as by-catch, or unsustainable harvest.The results of this study will transform the current state of knowledge and increase capacity for regional stakeholders to identify and enact marine conservation and research priorities, as a number of species are identified as having high conservation and/or research priorities in the region.Through the process of marine species data collection and risk assessments conducted over the past 5 years, several key conservation actions and research needs are identified to enable more effective conservation of marine biodiversity in the ECA, including increased governance, multilateral collaboration, taxonomic training, and improved reporting of fisheries catch and effort.
      PubDate: 2017-02-15T03:35:38.21947-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2744
  • Otter occupancy in the Cape Peninsula: Estimating the probability of river
           habitat use by Cape clawless otters, Aonyx capensis, across a gradient of
           human influence
    • Authors: Nicola C. Okes; M. Justin O'Riain
      Abstract: The distribution of Cape clawless otters, Aonyx capensis, in South Africa and their habitat requirements in freshwater and marine systems has been well established. There is, however, a lack of information on how otters are adapting to urban development and the transformation of critical freshwater habitat.Within the Western Cape, the Cape Peninsula exhibits substantial variation in levels of human impact over a small geographic range, offering an excellent opportunity to explore the hypothesis that otters are adversely affected by habitat transformation.A single season occupancy model was used based on otter sign to determine the probability of otter occupancy across a gradient of habitat transformation at both landscape and local scales.The probability of otters occupying river habitat in the Cape Peninsula was low (P = 0.29) but increased with proximity to marine protected areas (MPAs) that included estuaries and wetland habitat. Otter presence was not influenced by proximity to urban areas at the landscape scale, but declined in canalized sections of river that were heavily degraded by human activity.Despite being heavily transformed, lowland aquatic ecosystems may still provide critical resources in the form of fresh water and breeding sites, and together with food within the marine habitat may be sustaining the peninsula's otter population.In order for otters to persist on the peninsula, conservation authorities must maintain wetland, estuarine and river habitat in close proximity to MPAs. Further research is needed to determine the long-term impacts on otters persisting in degraded ecosystems.Annual single season occupancy surveys provide a rapid, cost-effective method for monitoring changes in otter occupancy which should be incorporated into current monitoring efforts to provide much needed long-term monitoring of a top predator in freshwater ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2017-02-15T03:31:05.86707-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2738
  • Incidental capture of leatherback sea turtles in fixed fishing gear off
           Atlantic Canada
    • Authors: Kayla M. Hamelin; Michael C. James, Wayne Ledwell, Julie Huntington, Kathleen Martin
      Abstract: Incidental capture in commercial fishing gear is a threat to many populations of marine megafauna, including sea turtles. While research has largely focused on pelagic longline impacts on sea turtles, fixed-gear fisheries are a significant, historically understudied source of injury and mortality.The present study assesses the interaction of endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) with fixed-gear fisheries in high-latitude seasonal foraging habitat where sub-adult and adult turtles aggregate.Records of leatherback-fishery interactions (n = 205) were compiled from databases of publicly-reported sea turtle sightings in Atlantic Canada (1998–2014) to identify the spatio-temporal distribution of these events; to identify corresponding fisheries and gear types; and to describe the mechanics and outcomes of entanglements in fixed gear.Most reports came from coastal Nova Scotia (n = 136) and Newfoundland (n = 40), with reporting rates peaking in the mid-to-late 2000s. The majority of entanglements were reported during the summer months of July and August when leatherbacks are seasonally resident and several fisheries are active in continental shelf waters.Entanglements were most commonly reported in pot gear (e.g. snow crab, lobster, whelk) and trap nets (e.g. mackerel), reflecting extensive use of polypropylene lines distributed in the upper water column where leatherback foraging activity is concentrated.Given reporting biases and uncertainty regarding post-release survivorship, entanglement mortalities should be considered a gross underestimate of true mortality rates.This study highlights both the importance of looking beyond pelagic longlines to evaluate leatherback interactions with fixed-gear fisheries in high-use continental shelf foraging habitat, and of involving the fishing industry in developing mitigation measures to reduce entanglement rates and associated turtle mortality.
      PubDate: 2017-02-15T02:45:34.929761-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2733
  • Evidence of clandestine harvest and failure of conservation policies for
           Argopecten purpuratus in the Rinconada Marine Reserve (Chile)
    • Authors: Miguel Avendaño; Marcela Cantillánez, Gérard Thouzeau
      Abstract: The study of Argopecten purpuratus reproduction, post-larval settlement, stock size, and population size structure and shell growth was undertaken in the 2000s in the Rinconada marine reserve (Chile) to evaluate the effectiveness of scallop recruitment and self-sustainability.The results highlight strong seasonal and inter-annual variations of environmental conditions and scallop gonadosomatic index, spat collection, benthic distribution, total abundance and population size structure.The Von Bertalanffy growth parameters were L∞ = 120.12 mm and K = 0.9681; commercial size would be reached in about 17.2 months in the bay. Substrate availability, meteorological conditions, hydrodynamics and illegal harvesting explain spatial and temporal variations in scallop distribution and abundance.Recruitment strength depends on one main cohort from year to year. While recruitment made up 81% and 94% of total abundances in May 2002 and May 2003, respectively, there were no overall density-dependent relationships between stock size and recruitment. Spawning asynchrony in the bay supports the hypothesis that multiple gamete releases form part of a reproductive strategy in response to environmental variability.The massive disappearance of large-sized scallops during the study periods was direct evidence of overfishing owing to clandestine harvesting within the marine reserve. The failure of current legislation, strategies and policies for scallop conservation requires new regulations to restore scallop stock size, maintain its reproductive performance and limit illegal harvesting in the Rinconada.A scenario allowing harvesting regulated by stock-dependent fishing quotas would more efficiently ensure stock recovery and self-sustainability. The modalities of this new policy are discussed.
      PubDate: 2017-02-10T02:01:15.878203-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2721
  • Conservation needs for the endangered New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos
    • Authors: B. Louise Chilvers; Stefan Meyer
      Abstract: Understanding population size and trend is critical information in species management and conservation. To enable accurate population trend estimates, consistent robust monitoring of a species is essential, particularly for a species such as the New Zealand (NZ) sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri, which has experienced an almost continuous decline in pup production since the late 1990s.This research examines the pup production estimates for all known breeding sites for this species, and using a stage-structured matrix population model, estimates population size and trend between 1995 and 2015.Overall, it is estimated that 2,316 pups were born in 2015, a decrease of 13% since 1995 and a 27% decline since the highest pup production estimate in 1998. This decline has been driven by the significant decline of 48% at the main breeding area, the Auckland Islands since 1998.Using the stage-structured matrix population model a total species population size of 11,767 sea lions (95% CrI: 10,790–12,923) was estimated. This is the lowest population size of any sea lion species. Trend data for the Auckland Islands indicated that pup and population numbers have decreased at 1.9% yr−1 in the last 20 yr, while total species population decline is 0.6% yr−1.Estimates of population trends for this species have been hindered by inconsistent monitoring at most breeding sites. This study strengthens the growing field of research highlighting the need for consistent long-term monitoring for the conservation management of endangered species.
      PubDate: 2017-02-03T06:40:34.375091-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2742
  • A review of the biology and status of Cape Fold Ecoregion freshwater
    • Authors: Bruce R. Ellender; Ryan J. Wasserman, Albert Chakona, Paul H. Skelton, Olaf L.F. Weyl
      Abstract: Mediterranean climate regions are globally recognized as hotspots of endemism in fishes; however, these unique assemblages are increasingly threatened by human mediated impacts including water abstraction, damming and non-native species introductions.The Cape Fold aquatic ecoregion (CFR) of South Africa supports an assemblage of range-restricted endemic freshwater fishes, the majority of which are conservation priorities because they are under severe threat of extinction. Effective conservation and management are constrained by the lack of readily available information on this imperilled group of fishes because research efforts over the last century have been temporally disjointed and relatively uncoordinated.This review provides an exhaustive appraisal of published literature on the taxonomy, biogeography, life history, ecology and physiology of freshwater fishes in the CFR, and the human impacts that affect them. Its aim is to direct future research needs for effective management and conservation of this imperilled group.Only 103 peer-reviewed articles on CFR fishes were recorded and the majority of available research is on taxonomy and biogeography (40.8%), followed by ecological investigations (22.3%), conservation (19.4%) and human impacts (17.5%).Despite a plethora of studies on taxonomy and biogeography, recent genetic evidence suggests that fish diversity in the CFR has been severely underestimated and requires urgent attention. Human impacts severely threaten the existence of many native CFR fishes and require further study. Information on the biology and ecology of CFR fishes is limited to studies on selected species; of particular note is the lack of physiological information which is particularly pertinent given projected climate change scenarios.
      PubDate: 2017-02-03T06:30:43.751663-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2730
  • Long-term changes in the distribution and core habitat use of a coastal
           delphinid in response to anthropogenic coastal alterations
    • Authors: Xianyan Wang; Fuxing Wu, Qian Zhu, Shiang-Lin Huang
      Abstract: The influence of anthropogenic habitat loss on animal distribution and core habitat use can be particularly strong in animals with narrow habitat selectivity, such as the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), a delphinid species that specifically inhabits coastal and estuarine waters.This study measured the extent of habitat loss in the waters around Xiamen City, China, where intense environmental changes and coast utilization have occurred in the past 40 years. The extent of occurrence and the core habitat of the humpback dolphin were measured based on sighting records from censuses conducted in different years.A Landsat image series revealed a permanent 119.95 km2 loss of coastal waters to land reclamation, coastal modification and harbour construction from 1973 to 2013. The distribution of the humpback dolphin showed a significant shift from inshore to offshore waters and away from artificial shorelines. Though the extent of occurrence appears to change minimally, a significant shift in the core habitat from the original coastal habitats into mid-channel waters was observed in the eastern Xiamen Bay.These results imply multiple consequences of anthropogenic coastal alterations for the humpback dolphin: the elimination of vital habitats, changes in habitat use preferences, and the partitioning of the social structure of the population.The need to adjust current protected area designations along with adequate measures to restore habitat quality and population connectivity, both locally and regionally, are considered.
      PubDate: 2017-02-03T06:25:41.994855-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2720
  • Red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, found in South Africa 22 years
           after attempted eradication
    • Authors: Ana L. Nunes; Andries C. Hoffman, Tsungai A. Zengeya, G. John Measey, Olaf LF Weyl
      Abstract: 1. No freshwater crayfish are indigenous to continental Africa, but four species have been introduced to the continent. One of these is the North American red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii, which has been introduced into several African countries, mainly for aquaculture, and has had demonstrable impacts where it has escaped captivity. In South Africa, the documentation of this species in farm dams near Dullstroom and the adjacent Crocodile River in 1988 resulted in an eradication attempt in 1994, with unknown results.2. In order to evaluate the status of P. clarkii in South Africa, dams on the previously invaded farm and the Crocodile River were sampled four times between December 2015 and June 2016 using visual surveys, trapping, dipnetting and electrofishing. This yielded a single reproductively active male P. clarkii from one of the farm ponds, while many other native aquatic species were found in high numbers.3. It is clear from this study that P. clarkii was not eradicated in South Africa and that individuals have been surviving in the wild (i.e. outside captivity or cultivation) for at least 28 years in the location where it was introduced. Containment and eradication of the species are proposed as management actions, which have major importance in preventing undesirable further spread or translocation of this species into new aquatic environments in South Africa.
      PubDate: 2017-01-30T04:29:53.671152-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2741
  • Heads you win, tails you lose: Life-history traits predict invasion and
           extinction risk of the world's freshwater fishes
    • Authors: Chunlong Liu; Lise Comte, Julian D. Olden
      Abstract: Freshwater fishes have the distinction of being both a highly imperilled taxonomic group as well as one that has produced many invasive species with widespread ecological impacts. Faced with the difficult task of identifying those species with the greatest need for management action, ecologists have turned to using predictive suites of ecological and life-history traits to provide reasonable estimates of fish invasion and extinction risk. Whether traits associated with invasiveness are the inverse of those associated with imperillment, known as the ‘two-sides-of-the-same-coin’ hypothesis, remains unclear.A global trait analysis (including maximum total body size, longevity, size at maturation, age at maturation, fecundity and egg size) for 6293 freshwater fishes was conducted to examine the trait correlates of species proneness to invasion or extinction. A meta-analytical procedure was deployed using univariate and multivariate trait analyses that accounted for the effects of shared phylogeny.Mean trait differences (measured as Hedges' d effect size) were found between invasive and threatened species when compared with native species, thus supporting the two-sides-of-the-same-coin hypothesis for freshwater fish. Invasive species were characterized by larger body size, greater longevity, delayed maturation and higher fecundity than threatened species. Furthermore, invasive species were found to display greater trait variability compared with threatened species, suggesting that different traits may be selected at different stages of the invasion process (from pathway entrainment to establishment) whereas more specific trait combinations may predispose species to higher extinction risk.The present study demonstrated a strong trait basis to global-scale invasion risk and extinction vulnerability for freshwater fishes. Given that both time and resources are too limited for detailed species-by-species assessments, the results suggest that trait correlates provide a reasonable estimate of invasion and extinction risk that can inform more targeted and proactive conservation strategies.
      PubDate: 2017-01-30T04:10:57.850193-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2740
  • Defining critical habitat conditions for the conservation of three endemic
           and endangered cyprinids in a Mediterranean intermittent river before the
           onset of drought
    • Authors: Leonidas Vardakas; Eleni Kalogianni, Christina Papadaki, Theocharis Vavalidis, Angeliki Mentzafou, Drosos Koutsoubas, Nikolaos Skoulikidis Th.
      Abstract: Identifying key factors in species' habitat requirements can be of use in defining critical habitats for their conservation, as well as in assisting the prioritization of habitat restoration actions. So far, most studies on habitat use by freshwater fishes have been focused on widespread and economically important species (e.g. salmonids).This study aimed to identify the early summer habitat use (i.e. before the start of the drought period) of three endemic and endangered Greek cyprinids – the Evrotas chub Squalius keadicus, the Spartian minnowroach Tropidophoxinellus spartiaticus and the Evrotas minnow Pelasgus laconicus, with regard to depth, water velocity, substrate and macrophyte cover. In the case of the chub, habitat use by juvenile and adult fish was assessed separately. Data were collected for each fish group from four habitat types (riffles, runs, glides, pools) by using a modified point-abundance sampling with an electrofishing device. In total, 120 sampling points were sampled, in two near-reference perennial reaches of the Evrotas River (southern Greece) in early summer 2014, when there was continuous flow and full connectivity between habitats.All three target species had their highest densities in deeper habitats with low water velocities and depositional substrates such as pools and runs. A high overlap in habitat use was evident for the three species. Habitat use curves based on microhabitat data were created for all species. Μinnowroaches, minnows and large chubs actively selected deep habitats. Minnowroaches and minnows favoured slow-flowing, vegetated habitats with fine substrate located close to the river bank, while chubs had no clear affinity for particular velocities or substrate types. However, size class comparisons in chub indicated differences in both water depth and velocity.Overall, the results of this study provide the first detailed report of the habitat use of these endangered fish species. These patterns of habitat use highlight the importance of deep habitats that must be preserved as refugia while the drought events progress.
      PubDate: 2017-01-25T07:05:44.19605-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2735
  • Seasonal encounter rate, life stages and main threats to the loggerhead
           sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Aeolian Archipelago (southern
           Thyrrenian Sea)
    • Authors: Monica Francesca Blasi; Daniela Mattei
      Abstract: Annual and seasonal encounter rates, life stages and the main threats to loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Aeolian Archipelago (southern Italy) were studied.Dedicated boat surveys resulted in 258 surface observations and 138 captures of healthy (n = 309), ailing (n = 66) and dead (n = 21) turtles from 2009 to 2013.Loggerheads were encountered at the sea water surface while resting (87%) or feeding on pelagic prey (13%).The loggerhead encounter rate (observations per km surveyed) was higher during the autumn, suggesting the presence of potential foraging/overwintering habitats in the area.The mean (± SD) curved carapace length (CCL) was 48.8 ± 10.7 cm, with 65% of the individuals ranging from 40–70 cm in size. Smaller turtles were encountered more frequently during the spring months, probably as a result of the abundant pelagic prey within the coastal area. During the colder season, larger turtles were more common in the afternoon than in the morning, suggesting that the time needed for rewarming might increase with turtle size.Ingestion of anthropogenic debris was reported in 48.5% of the rescued turtles. Individual mortality was mainly related to longline fishing (70.6%), with debris entanglements/ingestion frequently associated with these records. Longline bycatch and boat collisions were higher in summer, whereas debris ingestion was highest in spring. Different threats might affect particular life stages because the longline bycatch was more frequent for larger turtles, whereas boat collisions were more frequent with smaller individuals.Migratory patterns, habitat characteristics and seasonal changes in sea temperature and currents might influence the seasonal occurrence of loggerhead turtles in this area.These results increase the current ecological knowledge of the factors driving loggerhead turtle life and are important for implementing management plans for its conservation in the Mediterranean Sea.
      PubDate: 2017-01-18T06:15:27.341205-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2723
  • Niche-based species distribution models and conservation planning for
           endangered freshwater crayfish in south-western Germany
    • Authors: Christoph Chucholl
      Abstract: Niche-based species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation planning by forecasting environmental suitability for an endangered species. Here, SDMs were constructed for stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium) and white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes s. str.) to identify catchments in south-western Germany where environmental conditions are favourable for reintroduction.Maximum-entropy modelling (Maxent) was used with presence-only data to forecast environmental suitability for the two crayfish species based on five climate variables, slope, land cover, and a human impact index.SDMs showed good to excellent performance and were able to capture the range of both Austropotamobius species. Presence probabilities were mostly determined by climate variables, and climate niches partly overlap, with white-clawed crayfish occurring at conditions with less extreme winter temperatures and lower temperature seasonality than stone crayfish. Human impact contributed between 10 and 27% to the models and was negatively related to presence probabilities. Contribution of land cover was low (5%) but showed a positive relationship with deciduous broadleaf forest in both species.Both SDMs indicated several catchments with high predicted environmental suitability but no present occurrence records. Subsequent crayfish and habitat surveys in these catchments revealed four streams considered suitable for reintroduction and led to discovery of five previously unknown white-clawed crayfish populations. Overall, SDMs proved to be a powerful tool for conservation planning of freshwater crayfish species.
      PubDate: 2017-01-18T06:10:32.219293-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2734
  • Illegal ingegno fishery and conservation of deep red coral banks in the
           Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea)
    • Authors: Riccardo Cattaneo-Vietti; Giorgio Bavestrello, Marzia Bo, Simonepietro Canese, Alberto Vigo, Franco Andaloro
      Abstract: Recent ROV surveys conducted on the Ragusa bank in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea) documented illegal and continuous use of the ‘ingegno’ gear for red coral fishing.Three lost gears were recorded showing different levels of epibiosis thus supporting multi-annual exploitation of the bank.The red coral population of the Ragusa bank showed a typical ‘forest-like’ configuration with upright, medium-sized colonies similar to those of other commercially exploited deep Mediterranean banks.The direct negative effect of this trawling gear was evident from numerous rocky boulders completely enveloped by lost nets and occasionally turned over. Red coral fragments as well as fragments of ‘ingegno’ nets were observed in high abundance on the sea floor. This evidence suggests that this gear is highly destructive even on rough sea floors, contrary to the traditional view, which is that it has a more random impact on rough rocky bottoms.The estimated coral uptake of ‘ingegno’ is 45% of the total coral biomass, while the estimated coral loss, in terms of fragments, is 9%, demonstrating the high impact of this gear.The study highlighted the infringement of the red coral fishing ban by trawling gears as well as a lack of effective policing. The strengthening of controls on landings at nearby harbours, and education programmes for the local maritime communities are among the management actions proposed to protect these surviving red coral populations from the ongoing illegal fishing activity.
      PubDate: 2017-01-10T22:55:44.937644-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2731
  • Habitats for the Atlantic sturgeons in Russia
    • Authors: Igor Popov
      Abstract: The critically endangered Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser sturio, inhabited the Russian section of the Baltic Sea basin until recent times. Eight rivers were indicated as their habitats in local literature.The Atlantic surgeon disappeared in Russia because of overfishing, not because of habitat loss.Nowadays, potential spawning grounds for sturgeons occur in six rivers of the Russian section of the Baltic Sea basin. The largest river (Neva) is not blocked by dams and the whole river provides the ecological requirements of sturgeons on a stretch 75 km long.Restocking of other sturgeon species in Russia demonstrated that the release of reared fishes into the sea is ineffective, whereas the release into rivers could result in successful acclimatization.Recent climatic changes are rather favourable for sturgeon restocking in the Baltic Sea area. The main problem for the restoration of sturgeon populations is the intensive fishery.
      PubDate: 2017-01-09T04:40:46.224888-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2716
  • Issue Information
    • Pages: 569 - 571
      Abstract: No abstract is available for this article.
      PubDate: 2017-06-28T05:23:52.072877-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2726
  • Editorial: Measuring river restoration success: Are we missing the
    • Authors: Kevin J. Collier
      Pages: 572 - 577
      PubDate: 2017-06-28T05:23:56.836173-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2802
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